When late summer hits, you begin to hear people talk about the ‘dog days of summer’. It’s used in commercials. You hear the phrase dropped by morning radio DJ’s. There even a popular song that references the saying! Everyone sort of knows it refers to a very hot part of the year (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), but what in the world are we referencing? Do dogs like this weather? Do they hate it? Is this even about dogs? As with many English idioms, the answer isn’t as straightforward as it sounds on the surface.
Let’s learn a little astronomy! In the stars that make up the constellation Canis Major, Sirius is the brightest. It also happens to be the brightest start visible from Earth. At least as far back as the Greeks, humans associated the time when Sirius would rise just before the sun as not just an indicator that the hottest part of the summer was coming, but also a harbinger of some catastrophic event. How did we lose that connotation and start picturing a tired dog on a porch?
Not only did the Scientific Revolution put a major dent on humans looking to the stars for guidance, but the phrase was translated from Latin about 500 years ago, well into the era dominated by the Catholic Church. It was almost a stillborn phrase, stripped of the meaning on arrival in modern times. So we humans did what we’ve always been best at: attributing new meaning to our changing reality! And most ironically,because the stars position in the sky slow shifts through the millenia, people are going to be talking about the dog days of summer when Sirius will actually be rising in the winter about 13,000 years from now!
Now you know! Enjoy the dog days while they last; winter isn’t as far away as you think!
Summer is approaching, and most Americans will be hitting the road on a trip at some point while the weather is nice. Even if you just plan to cruise around town, follow these easy tips to ensure your car stays on the road and out of the shop!
1: Check Belts and Wipers
These pieces are easy to identify as fine or bad. If any rubber is cracked or looks horribly faded and brittle, just replace it before it breaks. An AC blower is one thing; a timing belt is quite another! While you’re at it, make sure your windshield fluid reservoir doesn’t have any cracks or leaks. There’s nothing as annoying as smearing something all over your windshield only to find out you have to stop at a gas station to clean up your mess.
2: Check Fluids!
This is possibly THE most important item you need to be aware of. Without lubrication, your engine and transmission will grind into a sold lump of metal. Oil is the only barrier between your pistons and the wall of the cylinder. In both your engine and your transmission (and certain 4WD systems) low oil levels will lead to undue wear and possibly overheating. Check in your owners manual for the specifics!
3: When In Doubt: Replace Your Spark Plugs
The spark plug is responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder of your car’s engine. Weak or no spark can mean less power, worse mileage, and possibly misfires. They’re good for at least 30,000 usually, but if you can’t remember the last time you’ve changed them, the time is now. If you can work a ratchet and socket, you’ll feel like a real-life mechanic, even if you’re just playing one in your driveway.
4: Don’t Let Tires Get Tired
This is one of the easiest vehicle maintenance tasks! No excuses! Use the quarter trick to check tread life…..if the tread of your tire doesn’t reach Washington’s head when placed in between, it’s time to start shopping for new ones. A bald tire is a hydroplaning, braking, and cornering hazard. Also don’t forget to rotate! Your front tires will always wear faster on the outer edges because they’re handling steering duties. A reputable tire shop will be able to rotate and then balance each tire accordingly. If not done properly (or at all), you can damage your suspension with too much wobble.
5: Keep It Clean!!
Washing and detailing your car is the best thing you can do to keep your car looking and feeling new. This is even truer in places that get real winters. Snow and ice build up in the undercarriage can hold moisture right against exposed metal parts, leading to premature rust. Salted roads can exacerbate this issue. Additionally, a layer of dirt on your clear coat also invites premature oxidation. Left unchecked, and sometimes combined with rust from under the car, this can eat holes through body panels. Last: Who wants to look sloppy out in public? Keep your ride shining!
While there are many other simple maintenance tasks you could be tackling, these five are doable by drivers of any age with minimum effort. Have any more tips you’ve learned? Share them in the comments!
Skip Memorial Day!
Let’s clarify: Celebrate Memorial Day, but DON’T be one of the millions of people in America to be disappointed by car camping during a major holiday. When you DO go, here are some tips to make the most of your camping excursions this season.
1: Embrace Overpacking!
When backpacking, it helps to be mindful of how much weight you can shave off, and how much you DON’T cram into your pack. But if you’re bringing the family car, SUV, or van, the only limit is legroom! That extra blanket, air mattress, or cooler can turn your trip from “Let’s get out of here.” to “I wish we had another day!”. If your current ride isn’t quite roomy enough, check out the VW Atlas, Kia Sorento, and Mercedes GLS.
2: Buck Convention!
What better time to finally read that novel? You might feel pressured to go hike, fish, or look for deer tracks, but it’s ok to just sit by the fire and find out what happens in the next chapter while listening to the wind in the pines. Are you more of an extrovert? Bring a board game that requires a large group and lots of free time! This is often hard to pull off in town, as we constantly have screens and sounds bombarding us on the daily. Use the isolation to your advantage and dig into some Risk, Settlers of Catan, pinochle, or even (if kids aren’t present) Cards Against Humanity!
3: Make GOOD Food!
Look, hot dogs and marshmallows are fine. I would argue they’re necessary for a classic camping outing. That said, bring a cast iron skillet, build in little rock burner for it in your fire pit, and do up some LEGIT food! With the right cooler setup, bacon is definitely an option. Go this route to be able to use the grease to sear zucchini, onion, asparagus, or any other veggie you’re a fan of, then toss with the chopped bacon! Just that with some salt and pepper and you’re already miles beyond mystery meat in a white bun. Want more inspiration? Check out these 10 Delicious Cast Iron Skillet Recipes !
4: Be Safe!
Even camping in a drive-up campground, here in the Pacific Northwest anything from a squirrel to a bear might decide to investigate all this good food. Make sure to have an overhead food storage system, a bear-proof food locker, or both. Speaking of which, always carry bear spray. Depending on your personal values, local wildlife, and local laws, a firearm could be a good tool for that ‘what if’ scenarios. Walkie-talkies, flares, firestarting kits, emergency blankets, and rain gear will also serve you well if things get dicey. Use the The Ten Essentials as your guide!
5: Leave No Trace!
This is usually the refrain of hikers, climbers, and backpackers, but it should apply to ANYONE who is out enjoying nature. Make sure to pack out all your garbage, completely eradicate your fire by burying and dousing it, and try to leave the campsite looking better than it did when you arrived. Find out more about Leave No Trace camping principles here.
Have any more camping tips? We’d love to hear them!
the Christian feast day of St. Valentine and the traditional day for sending a romantic card or gift, especially anonymously, to somebody you love.
It all makes sense now! I don’t who else remembers this but in elementary school, the teachers would take a day prior to Valentines Day to have the class make cute folders, boxes or envelopes for the super fun and candy filled Valentines Day party. I remember you had a choice as to whether you’d address your cards to your classmate or remain anonymous and then walk around the class room putting one in each of your classmates handmade valentine holder. It was one of the most anticipated days of the school year. There was always one or two cards that were received that remained unknown as to who had a crush on who. Little did we know we were upholding a tradition that was centuries old.
Some people view February 14th as a retail holiday devised by marketers to sell flowers, candy and jewelry… and they have done a good job! The National Retail Federation says Americans will shell out $18.2 billion on the holiday. Even Valentine humbugs can find it in their hearts to have some fun by trying different ways to celebrate the day, whether you’re comfortably coupled or splendidly single, here are a few ideas…
Gather up other singles or take your Honey and go catch a movie! Don’t be disgruntled because you’re single, that day will come that you consult with a significant other about basic decisions so take advantage now! You’re free and clear to do as you please and still have a great time doing it with a group of friends.
Have dinner and great conversation with your group of peeps. It can be a sense of relief having no pressure to act a certain way to impress or the pressure of an awkward goodbye at the end of the evening.
Try new things! New recipes, desserts, restaurants, wineries ect… Be spontaneous and take a day trip to a place you or your spouse haven’t been to. Exploring the unknown is half of the adventure in a relationship. Start small and try something you normally wouldn’t. Even if it’s a disaster, it’ll make a memorable one!
Indulge yourself in a pampered evening. Whether it be a spa day or a bubble bath at home, make it count. You deserve it.
Spread kindness and love around, start an epidemic! Studies have shown that Kindness spreads, let it start with you. Give candy or cards to the people in your life, friends, family, co-workers or even your favorite barista.
These are things that everyone can enjoy, couples, singles or groups of besties.
And for those of us who aren’t alone on this “holiday”, it’s not about how much you spend on the one you love but more the gesture of kindness, love and appreciation. It’s a day to be creative in doing so. Think outside the heart shaped box of chocolates and the color red that coats the grocery stores. The meaning of love can be expressed in so many different ways without breaking the bank. Thank goodness for the internet because you can Google or Pinterest creative and inexpensive ideas that are sure to make your person feel important and loved. Some of the best gifts are the ones that cost the least but come from the heart. BUT chocolate is sort of a staple and chocolate dipped strawberries are pretty amazing too. They’re really easy to make and can be half the fun when making them together. There are so many ways to keep the romance alive in relationships and why not take advantage of a day that is set out to encourage just that. It’s all about taking time out to spend with the one you love and if you don’t have that person yet, maybe it’s a day love might find you!
From Steve Hahns Auto Group
Who doesn’t wish there was more time in the day to accomplish more of what we need to get done? A lot of times we run off of coffee or energy drinks with the thinking that if we just had more energy, we could get more done. It’s simply not true. We enjoy the pick-me-up that caffeine gives but it doesn’t mean that our productivity has increased. We tend to go about it all wrong and end up potentially a little unorganized. Work Smarter, Not Harder right?! When you’re juggling 10 things at one time, it might become a little stressful so it’s best to prioritize, make a list, make sure you finish what you start and follow through. Sometimes easier said than done so that’s why there are these helpful tips and hints to help you work to your full potential.
- Puppies- Yes, really! A team of Japanese scientists has proven that looking at cute baby animals improves our dexterity and focus when performing tasks.
- Plants- Studies show that offices with greenery have more productive employees.
- The color Blue- Blue stimulates the brain, aiding concentration and clearing our minds or distracting thoughts. It even decreases your appetite.
- Happiness- Smile! Science shows that positive employees are 12%more productive than their unhappier counterparts.
- Music- Da-Dahhhh! Scientists have proved that music makes repetitive tasks less boring and also helps you focus.
- Dancing- Dancing pumps blood into the brain, improving your cognitive skills.
- Napping- Research shows that napping makes you a more productive worker by “resetting” your brain. Zzzzzzzz….
- Breaks- Employees who take regular breaks achieve more than their working-through-lunch peers. Time for that coffee!
- Chatting- Having a random conversation from time to time actually makes you a better worker. You don’t even have to discuss work matters.
- Shorter Work Hours- It might sound counter-intuitive, but the fewer hours you work, the more you get done. Hello six-hour day!
Interesting isn’t it? There’s a few things on this list I’m willing to try. Obviously not all of us sit at a desk to be able to at baby animals all day but naps are always doable! And what about incorporating the color blue into your work area and maybe some plants? Some of these just might work! Anyway, whatever helps get the job done right? I’m sure for most of us caffeine is somewhere in this equation. So have a conversation with a co-worker or customer or if you’re home, with the dog, take a quick nap or a quick break to dance and get your blood pumping! See what you can do to increase your productivity and have a successful day!
When you’re spending your hard earned money on a vehicle, you want to maintain it and keep it in tip top shape with regular maintenance and oil changes. Nothing worse than putting money into something that is just slowly deteriorating. The mechanics are not the only thing to worry about though.
Often times during the bad weather seasons, we think to ourselves, “I’ll wait till the weather clears up before I wash the car.” We feel like it’s a waste of money when it’s just going to get dirty so quickly. You’re spending anywhere between $12-$20 per wash just to catch the road grime as soon as you pull out of the car wash. Yes, it’s a vicious cycle and seems never ending but you don’t stop to think about the effects it has on your car’s paint, chrome, undercarriage and tires with all of that gunk resting on your investment.
The effects can be so damaging! The saying “A little dirt won’t hurt!” is absolutely not the case when it comes to your vehicle! Dirt build up can act like sandpaper, wearing down and weakening the paint. The dirt can also mix with rain and other pollutants, etching paint right off. Road salt, snow, and moisture can cause rust on a car, and once rust starts it’s hard to stop. Rust can show up anywhere – under the paint, under the car where there is bare metal, and in nooks and crannies that you didn’t even know existed. The undercarriage of the car is equally important if not more
than the main exterior because the snow and salt gets kicked up underneath and tends to stick and that’s where the corrosion starts. This rotting or corrosion can harm the car’s exhaust and muffler systems, coil springs and the frame of the car. Make sure that you visit a car wash that offers the undercarriage wash!
Don’t forget to keep your headlights clean as well. Using a rubbing compound to take away the foggy coating and make them clear again works wonders. It definitely makes them brighter while driving in the dark. Vehicles can also be taken to a collision shop prior to the winter season to have their vehicles pre-treated with an oil solution under-spray to help fight winter road salt damage. Also consider using a wax to help bead off the rain and snow.
The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals. ~ Melody Beattie
Res·o·lu·tion: a firm decision to do or not to do something
What does a New Years Resolution mean to you? Do you set goals for yourself that are attainable or do you have unrealistic expectations and settle at point of “Good Enough”? Resolutions start off as good intentions but often times, the motivation or determination aren’t there. It’s easy to sit down and make a list of things we should or shouldn’t do to better ourselves but the tricky part is putting action to it. It was a good thought! Losing weight to be healthier would be great, quitting smoking to avoid cancer and have a longer healthier life is fantastic, changing your attitude from negative to positive, spending more time with the ones we love; these are all good resolutions to have but some are definitely easier than others to keep. It can be hard to change bad habits and replace them with good ones. So how bad do you want it? Determination and motivation is key!
It can be hard to find motivation when you’re used to living a certain way. You grow to except things the way they are and keep moving forward. There’s a comfortability in not rocking life’s boat. It’s when we break through that comfortable barrier that we keep ourselves behind, we discover fun things about life and about ourselves. We begin to see a difference in the then and now and it becomes motivation to continue going forward, in turn creating our own determination. You can now wear a certain proudness that others can see and inquire about and then YOU become someone else’s motivation!
New Years Resolutions are made because we see it as motivation to start over or start new with the start of a new year. In a sense, it’s an accountability. You start something at a time that occurs once a year so don’t screw it up! There’s no better time to start something than the first. 2018 starts on a Monday so even better! I personally, am going to start eating healthier and actually using the gym membership that I’ve been paying monthly for over a year now, roughly 6 months till summer right?
My goal/resolution isn’t about seeing specific numbers but more about staying strong in my decision to do better for myself. Resolutions are often forgotten about or broken but goals are something we can keep striving to achieve.
Over the years we’ve seen gift trends come and go. Each year there’s a hot item that is a must have on everyone’s Christmas list. In the 90’s it was Game Boy Color, Tamagotchi, Pokemon cards, Pogs and who doesn’t remember the Tickle Me Elmo CRAZE. In the 2000’s it was Bratz Dollz, Robosapien, PS3, Apple iPod, Wii and Xbox. In the later 2000’s, it’s safe to say that electronics and the latest and greatest video game consoles have taken the lead in adolescence as well as adults. Coming in as a close 2nd to electronics are the accessories for them, such as extra battery packs, expandable memory, extra controllers and the latest little genius invention is called the Popsocket. It clings to the back of your phone, iPod or for larger devices you can use two; one on each end. It acts as a kickstand for your phone when watching videos or a way of anchoring it to your hand when placing it between your fingers making it easier to use one hand to operate your device. They’ve got fun colors and patterns and are priced around $9.99. AND are on most youth’s Christmas list last year and now this year as well. If you are a black Friday shopper, it makes it a little easier to find these items and more at pretty amazing prices but of course with a price to pay. Waking up early, fighting crowds, waiting in lines that can sometimes circle the store and people trying your patience in those unworldly hours of the morning. But hey, in the end you’ll pay about $75 less for that new Xbox your kids are dying for or $5 less for that $10 fuzzy throw blanket that Grandma might like. And if you’re anything like me, you leave with way more than intended, mostly impulse buys because when are you going to see it that cheap again?! Ok, back to the art of gift giving… I try and stick to what’s on the Christmas list but it’s always fun to throw in the element of surprise and give something that even they didn’t expect but will absolutely love. It’s also an art to keep the reason behind the season, gift giving and receiving. The best feeling is genuine appreciation and love spread with a simple gift. The time spent with family and friends with memories being made and traditions upheld and new ones being created are all priceless. With that being said, expensive or not, it’s the love behind it. We take the time to think of the perfect gift for the person, set out to purchase and wrap it up for presentation. The thought and time behind gifts often mean more than the gift itself. When my kids were small they improvised and had handmade crafts wrapped up tight with a half roll of tape and 2 rolls of paper! It may have taken half the morning to unwrap such a small and delicate gift but in the end was so worth it. These are still some of the most cherished gifts tucked away in my jewelry box. The looks on their face when their gifts were received was priceless. Just as if they were the ones receiving it, they were full of excitement and joy. It’s by far my favorite time of the year as it takes time to prepare and plan out the gifts and festivities. It seems to help make the holiday season last longer.
May you and you family have a very Merry Christmas from our family here at Steve Hahn’s!
The Marine Toys for Tots is a foundation in which the goal is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them into becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens. It is ranked as one of the top rated charities since 2001. The Marine Toys for Tots Program collected and distributed 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children in this past year allowing them to experience the joy of Christmas and receive a message of hope that otherwise would not have been there.
On Friday December 8th we hosted the Marine Toys for Tots toy drive here at Steve Hahn’s. This is an annual event that we couldn’t be happier participating in. A large group of employees gathered here decked out in Christmas attire at 6am and brought their Christmas cheer. We had Santa, Mrs. Claus and our employees posing as elves and Santa’s helpers to encourage the spirit of giving! We also had a special guest show up, Mrs. Donut Hole from Krispy Kreme! They donated several dozen donuts and carafes of coffee and hot cocoa for this event.
KIT 1280’s Dave and Lance were there interviewing guests and people who donated as well as Steve Hahn. They were playing Christmas music intermittently between interviews and enjoying the festivities. Yakima Mayor Kathy Coffey stopped by with her donations. We even had children bringing gifts in before school as well as people stopping in before work to drop off gifts and monetary donations.
With so much support and people donating their time and money to make this happen, it was a huge success. This years gathering brought in over $1000 in monetary donations and over 500 toys. If you missed the event, that’s no problem. You are still to make toy or monetary donations by dropping by Steve Hahn’s at 1st and Mead. All Donations will be collected by the Marines just before Christmas Eve. We are so thankful for this community and their generosity.
This year’s Second Annual Trunk or Treat was a huge success. There were 82 decorated trunks on the lot and roughly 7,800 parents and children in attendance. We were so pleased with the amount of businesses that were willing to participate in some way shape or form as there were over 100 willing businesses.
Whether they were vendors with trunks or they simply made a donation to the event, there was a ton of generosity shown. From the hand sanitizer stations, portable bathrooms, barrier fencing, standing propane heaters and a tons of donated pumpkins, candy and hay bales, and our own employee’s time, it was smooth sailing.
This year’s goal was to raise money to go towards the First Responders of Yakima. We asked each business to donate $50 to raise money for the First Responders of Yakima, on top of decorating a trunk full of candy. Almost an admission of sort, however not a stipulation to be able to participate.
All were willing and a few that were not able to be a trunk vendor still gave the donation and that’s where the other donated items came into play. So many people were willing to help out in some way to provide to the community event.
A major goal of Steve Hahn’s was to be able to provide the community with a safe and fun environment. Parents are more at ease bringing their children to an event like this and not worrying about the dangers of walking in the dark or receiving questionable candy from strangers. Having raised his children and now having grandkids, Steve understands the importance of keeping our kiddos safe.
We were able to provide a completely enclosed event with one entrance and one exit. We had police officers volunteering their time to be at the event also.
We managed to host an unforgettable event that was complete with face painting, a costume contest for children and adults, a dance contest, photo backdrop/selfie stage, a huge HAUNTED HOUSE and not to mention TONS of candy! The looks on the children’s faces were priceless and we’ve got the pictures to prove it.
The participation on our staff’s behalf was pretty great as well. From witches, to Wednesday Adams, Katniss Everdeen and clowns, we had a variety of fun costumes worn by our staff. There were so many awesome and creative costumes that came through.
We had an adorable 3 year Transformer, a set of Washer and Dryer sisters, die hard 2 year old dancing twin Fairies, Princesses, super Heroes and Villains.
However the costume contest winners for both child and adult prizes went to a family who hand made their Alice in Wonderland costumes. The adults received prizes donated to us from Hendo’s Accessories, Bale Breaker and the Yakima Steak Company and the child’s costume contest winner received a birthday party package for 10 donated to us from Get Air!
We would like to thank everyone including Bear event services, Imperial’s Garden, Get Air, Hendo’s and the people at the Washington State Fair Grounds and I’m sure there’s many more for coming out and being a part of this year’s Trunk or Treat. Thank you for your amazing donations of cash, prizes, borrowed items and to Hanson’s Fruit warehouse for allowing us to store our entire inventory in your back lot for 24 hours.
A HUGE thank you to Miss Kelly West for being an amazing DJ and providing the services and items that you brought to make the event all the more LOUD and exciting! AND last but not least, thank you to the First Responders of Yakima for protecting our city and donating your time at this event. We are very pleased to say that this event raised over $3,500.00 that will be presented to the First Responders!
The goal is to be bigger and better with every year, so with that being said…We’ll see you all in 2018 for our Third Annual Trunk or Treat!