Sunday, August 24, 2008

August 24

The air is fresh and quite cool this am. It gives the hint of fall, just around the corner. R & A & I went to the airport yesterday to pick up our AFS teacher for the year. Her name is "Apple" an Americanized, clipped version of her real name that I won't even try to pronounce. She comes to us from Thailand where she has been a teacher for 5 years. I know she is going to work out just fine here, she loves cooking, spicy food, being out in the country, little kids; in other words she speaks Rhonda and Kim's language.

Took the youngest son's tools up to Alexandria on Friday, he starts his 2nd. year of diesel mechanics on Monday. I'll probably go to Andy's house this afternoon to work on his plumbing. He has been making progress on his house with Christine's help. I want to try and get his toilet hooked up soon. Then he can finish his walls and install new shower etc.

Busy week for Kim, I'm going to eastern Iowa with my boss and one of the salesmen from North Dakota. He has started a sales relationship with a company up in the "oil sands" area of ND and the parent company is located in my territory.

The heater for the pool burned out last week so I'm working on getting the best price for a replacement. The Internet has made it easy to shop for something normally bought from the original purveyor. Even with shipping, I found the exact replacement in California for about $500. less than local. In a way it's sad, the trend is to buy where you get the best price, not always where it came from. This is true in my business also, I just sold a big order for parts to a firm in Ohio. Word of mouth helped on that one but they just couldn't get the help they needed from any one in that area.

Hopefully the economy has started to turn around a bit. Diesel fuel has dropped below $4.00/gal. in southern MN. this past week. I think it's a good sign!


Life is good!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Week of 7-21

Hello Bloggers! it's been warm and sunny here. I've been getting ready to go on our trip to Indiana which means cleaning the Dodge, servicing the engine, and today I took it into the garage in Owatonna to have the transmission fluid and filters changed and the bands tightened. It's something recommended every 90 to 100M miles. This is my 2nd. time on that one. I burned my back cleaning the cab yesterday, Rhonda got mad at me about being old enough to know about sun block etc. The interior of the Dodge looks pretty good, even took Alair's seat out and R washed the pad. I like to make my truck look "beautiful"! It's in the eye of the beholder.
I had a sales meeting canceled this AM so my day went a little faster than planned. The guy I was going with has the "crud", sounds like what I had a week ago. A fellow salesman from my company has resigned, he is moving his wife and daughter to Florida to be near his father who is terminal with cancer. Nice that he can do that, he even has a job waiting for him. He is younger than me and a very good salesman. I will miss him at our big company meetings.

If any one who reads this knows of someone who does genealogical searches for cheap, let me know. I have been stumped on one big branch of my family tree for about 5 years now.

Life is Good!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So, my number two daughter posted this list on her blog and not being one to pass up a list, here's mine. If you find this interesting, copy and paste it onto your own blog. You will have to go in to the body after posting and edit each numbered entry. In other words, put your cursor in fromt of the number and hit enter. There are other lists, I've seen 3 or 4 others over the years, and they all seem to just lean a person into reading a diverse subject matter. They all include the BIBLE and several other of the books in this list. One I recall from the American Legion/VFW suggested all of our nations major documents.
Minnesotan's can be happy this evening, Jesse Ventura did not enter the political arena. What a big mouthed fool, stating that GOD did not whisper in his ear to run so he is bowing out. Go back to Mexico Jesse!! While I'm on politics, did you see on the news the story about the New Yorker magazine cover this week. Whew! Caused quite a stir. Obama's numbers are going down!

Well if your a Midwesterner, I would suggest buying American Crystal Sugar. The beet sugar industry is what keeps this salesman afloat and thus I try to patronize the industries that spend money with me. Some day I'll make a list of those customers/suppliers that would be of interest to anyone.
Life is Good!

The Reading List
The Big Read is an NEA program designed to encourage community reading initiatives. They've come up with this list of the top 100 books, using criteria they don't explain, and they estimate that the average adult has only read 6 of these. So, we are encouraged to:1) Look at the list and bold those we have read.2) Italicize those we intend to read.3) Underline the books we LOVE4) Reprint this list in our own blogs
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery –
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Monday, July 14, 2008

Always something new

Well another 230 + mile day in the garage. Stopped at a new customer I started working with 3 weeks ago. His company is building an underground tunnel boring machine for the state of Cal. So far they have ordered twice and I am very pleased with the results of my efforts and those of my vendors who helped "spec" things out for them. It is really surprising to find the diversity and capabilities of a global scale manufacturing company in a town the size of Brownsdale, MN. I went from there to one of my large egg customers in Iowa. They needed belts to keep the chicken barn fans blowing. Hens don't like heat! tomorrow I go west and north, conveyor manufacturer, another egg production facility, beef slaughter house, grinite quarry, two gravel pits, silica mine. Hope everyone has an open check book.
I'm getting excited about a vacation trip in two more weeks. My wife and 3 year old daughter & I are going to Indiana and up to Lake Michigan. Hope I can walk in the sand in my bare feet! Get away from my daily worries for a couple of days.
Life is good!

Monday, July 7, 2008

In the Beginning

Shortly after I started entering the info for this blog, my wife looked over my shoulder and said something to the effect that she starts something and I have to follow. Well, I love the technology stuff and if she stated it, I'm going to follow! It seems odd that just 10 or 12 years ago we bought our first computer, an IBM APTIVA and hoped that the kids would be able to use it for homework etc. They did and I was equally enthralled with it's capabilities. Today, I can't move without having my Blackberry on and my laptop within reach. It has become my way of life for my job. It really is aweinspiring when you think about how much knowledge is available at your fingertips compared to just a short time ago! Also the ability to design, price products, and turn around and order what a customer wants all within minutes.
I'll try to keep up-to-date with my new blog, I'm always finding new and different things, opinions, and like they say,"truth is stranger than fiction". That's the stuff I like to read and pass on!