Craig Maas
Notes 2005

Exploding Ballast

I finished the Moorhead Schools Utility bills. I printed out the sheets and had notes I wanted to talk about. After lunch with Bob I went over to University Lutheran Center. I told their office manager I would stop by and change out the ballast in the office. It still smelled in the office. When I took the ballast down, it had a burn mark on the case. It must have shorted internally. I'm surprised it didn't take the fuse with it- maybe it did. It was a small can Sylvania. Odd that it failed in this manor. I quickly changed it out. I just about went to see Orv, but I thought he might be gone this afternoon. I would either have to drive far north or mid town to cross the river; it just didn't seem worth it. I went home.
Monday (10/3) Orv called about the Utility bills. We were working fast trying to get everything done before dad left. I had time. I tried the I-94 route this time- it was pretty fast. Orv and I went over the Utility bills. I pointed out some odd usage patterns. We talked about high-energy use of both gas and electric at Horizon Middle School. I had pulled out my Viking autographs from circa 1972. Orv is a Viking fan and he has a mini museum in his office. I let him ID the autographs he knew who three of them were. The fourth is a mystery. He showed me the players' stats and told me a little about each. Dave Osborne was from Cando and Gary Larsen was from Moorhead. Which makes sense. If you were doing a fundraiser in Fargo it would be easier to grab local players.

September 30, 2005


Rummage Sale

Last Sunday morning (9/25) I handed down box after box of stuff for the rummage sale including some of my own boxes, which I've been storing in the attic. As much crap as there was, I'm sure I could fine a lot more crap to sell. I'm not sold on the Rummage Sale concept. You could Ebay the same stuff. You would probably only sell half as much but you would get six times as much for it. You could do it a day at a time. You wouldn't have to make a big ordeal out of it. Even if you didn't Ebay you would donate it and take the right off during the years dad itemizes his deductions. $200 isn't worth the time mom put into this sale.

September 30, 2005


Radial Arm Saw

Dad liked my template for the TV shelf. He also finally came around to my idea of not using a shelf at all under the cabinet above the TV. He was in a hurry to get everything done, but it was more of a hurry up and wait schedule. Rather than dismantle and re-glue my template for the TV base shelf, he wanted to go to ECI right now and cut the base shelf using the template as it was. I told him the walls are not straight. The template is close but not perfect. We took the template and blank shelf to ECI. We couldn't figure out how to turn on the Radial Arm Saw. Back home I ended up cutting with a circular saw. I sent dad over to buy a handsaw so we could cut the notches carefully. The template wasn't perfect nor were the cuts; yet the shelf fit pretty good. I did some careful grinding with my Dremoll tool. We mounted the top cabinet into the trim strips. Dad's back braces were not used. His mounting strip was too low; we ending up using blocks of work to support the back. I felt we were done the television will hid all the open areas. If not a small trim piece will do the trick. Dad wants to move the mounting strip up so we won't need the blocks. I said he should just paint them the color of the wall and they will disappear back there. Mom doesn't think anything we've done is worth a damn and wants to hire a carpenter to redo everything. Actually it's coming along just fine. I ordered some track lights and channel from Nicor to replace our old track lighting. Our old track is an odd brand. Dad said it was cheaper to replace all of it than to just buy new heads.
Thursday (9/29) Dad and I worked on trimming up the fireplace.

September 27, 2005


The Beginning Of The End Of PD's

Suzanne and Paul sold a half ownership of PDs Enterprise to Grant. In turn Grant put half of the Sandtrap into PD's Enterprises. (Or visa versa?) This seemed like a good idea. By moving PD's to the new Osgood Golf Course it would alleviate problems with their building downtown, parking, etc. At the same time they would be nearer their target market and would have more to work with. The idea was to close PD's On First right away. But this didn't come to pass. Paul was suddenly managing three restaurants: PD's On First, PD's At Osgood, and The Sandtrap at Osgood. Not only was he managing these three restaurants but doing all the work necessary to get the Osgood restaurants up and running. Paul was also cooking downtown on top of it all. Paul was getting pressure from Grant to keep downtown open and pressure from Suzanne (and everyone else) to close downtown and turn his full attention to Osgood. There was some concern about the lease downtown but I never thought it was serious certainly not worth holding up the move. When Paul and Suzanne were on vacation they got constant phone calls from Grant and their lawyer to settle with Gill (The downtown landlord) Not only did the calls ruin a fun vacation but Grant settled for a ridiculous settlement. Grant held this over Paul and Suzanne talking them into signing it. When they arrived home they found the accounting service Grant was using to be totally unresponsive and unprofessional. Grant wouldn't budge. Paul started to hear troubling stories from suppliers, and others. There was also on-going trouble at Osgood. The vision Paul and Suzanne had for the restaurant was fine dining. Grant's vision was family dining. Paul couldn't do his job without interference. Paul was unhappy. Suzanne was mad. They held meetings where Grant would promise the moon but the problems remained and festered. Suzanne and Paul decided to pull the plug. Paul asked Grant to buy them out. Grant wasn't happy but Grant caused this mess. I don't know what he thought would happen by acting so unprofessional. Even while this was coming to a head, Suzanne asked me to work on a revised billboard, which Newman was going to give them for free. I worked up a mockup from Suzanne's ideas. We even talked about ideas for an upcoming marketing campaign. It was possible that they might buy Grant out. Grant said it made no difference to him. Paul said, "Then we'd like you to buy us out."
On paper anyway the company appeared bankrupt. Grant had promised to infuse the company with money but had not. Suzanne had provided most if not all the money since the partnership. Grant looked at the Assets as Expenses and felt he could buy Paul and Suzanne out for little or nothing. (Which shows his level of competency). Suzanne offered a fair evaluation based on the balance sheet and was called a crook for her trouble.
Let the lawyers and the arguing begin.

September 26, 2005


Zelig

"Zelig" is one of many funny Woody Allen movies. I had only seen it once or twice. Most likely when it came out in 1983 and again when it was on Showtime, so it's been a long time. Another favorite movie is "Forest Gump". Zelig places Woody Allen as Zelig in a number of key moments early in the 20th century. Only Woody did it years before Tom Hanks. The comedy is pretty good too. (Also note: "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" in which Steve Martin interacts with various film stars from the 30s, 40s and 50s. It also starts a stunningly beautiful Rachel Ward.)
I had Suzanne tape "Zelig" when it was on cable last Sunday (9/18). Bob and I got a kick out of this short funny film. After dining on pizza we stopped in Moorhead to watch Sean play soccer. Paul, Sean, Suzanne and Tim were there. Tim was racing me to the street and back. No matter the lead I gave him I would speed up and arrive back at the chairs. Tim laughed and laughed. I saw my dentist there. He said he has young ones there. Does that mean kids or grand kids? He's older than me and it could go either way. A young wife and/ or a new family; or an old family with young kids of their own. We stayed for much of the game, but I wanted to get back to television. I walked over to the other sidelines to say goodbye to Sean. He was busy playing with his friends.
I got "Hamburger Hill" from Victor on DVD. It was pretty good. I remember seeing it when it came out. Most of the unknown stars ended up becoming well known on television later. This movie is one of the better Vietnam movies.
Since it's fall, it's a new television season. There are new shows on, but there are also old shows from cable, which are now being syndicated on regular television. I'm starting to watch "Enterprise" (which was hard to get on UPN on UHF), "Smallville", and "South Park"

September 25, 2005


iPod Nano

Suzanne hinted she wanted an iPod Nano. Paul got her one. He asked me to load it with music. I was happy to play with it and test it out. I like it. If I was only going to get one iPod the Nano is the way to go. I think I will still get an iPod Shuffle. iTunes wanted me to update in order to recognize the Nano, so I did. I registered the Nano with Apple. I realized too late it would send an email to Suzanne. But I have her account data so I quickly logged in and deleted the Apple email. I copied some music over. I also copied some photos. The Nano has a color screen and can display photos. I then copied my v-card file over so she has a list of addresses and phone numbers on the iPod. I finished just in time to take the iPod with me to lunch. I stopped at Dey Distributing, as Victor wanted a movie and I wanted to show Vic the Nano. Next I showed Bob. He thought I bought one myself as I had almost bought a Shuffle last weekend. Paul stopped by with a stack of Christian Rock CDs. I put those on the Nano and then some music I like to exercise too. I think Suzanne will like too. I thought about filling the Nano but I left it only half full.

September 23, 2005


Pirate Website

Pirate Keyboard A couple years ago someone did a satire of those various holidays that have popped up lately. It was called "Talk Like A Pirate Day." It caught on the Internet. There is a funny photo of a Pirate Keyboard. It only has the 'R' key.
Another website converts any website into a 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' website. I converted the Present-Like-a-Pirate website and sent the link to Sara. Aaarrrrhhh!

September 22, 2005


Install Basement Cabinets

Dad had Gary's son Dean ripped the trim pieces, as we didn't have a saw to do that with. Actually we had access to Paul Bergland's radial arm saw but couldn't figure out how to get it to work. I predrilled the holes. Dad bought some wood screws but they must have been defective. As I screwed them in they would snap off. On one hand they got far enough in to hold and then we didn't have the problem of the heads to deal with but it was frustrating.
Thursday (9/22) I helped dad screw the cabinets to the wall.

September 21, 2005


Mowing the ECI Football Field

Friday (9/16) Paul Steffes called about Mytech Occupancy Sensors and other surplus inventory. I sent him an email with pricing yet I need to confirm the quantities. I also need to update my web page. So, today, I counted the entire inventory at the ECI building- our entire surplus inventory. I also tightened it up a little. We have sold some lately and it doesn't need as much room as it's not getting replaced. The battery on my iPod was dead. I knew I should have charged it last night. I kept the earphone in- it cuts the drone of the lawn mower by 90 percent. When I finished the front yard at ECI I went around the building. I started mowing the field too. It was cool out and very few mosquitoes. I thought I would run out of gas before I ran out of field, but I kept mowing and soon it was all done. It seems like every time I mow the piles of 'hay' I get twice as much. It must be mulching it smaller and small. Hopefully, next time I mow, it won't choke the mower.

September 17, 2005


Gary Finishes The Painting

Gary and his sidekick were working quickly. The east walls had dried after getting a fresh coat of joint compound. (The wallpaper came off with part of the drywall.) Dad took off for Big Iron (The farm machinery show in West Fargo). Gary asked me to get more paint. This ugly blue-green algae paint is almost $30 a gallon. They must have also been using some oil based paint for the trim because the basement stunk to high heaven. I couldn't work down there any more. The good news is they are done.
Dad picked up the cabinets on Thursday (9/15) at Floor To Ceiling. They are custom cabinets but are made in a factory. They have a blond maple veneer. Dad and I carried them into the basement. They were not too heavy but they were bulky . It was hard to carry them down the stairs, over the handrail and around the corner. I opened the last and largest unit- it had damage. In fact two of the units had damage. Mom wasn't happy. The damage on both units was on a side, which would not be viable. Dad negotiated a discount because he couldn't wait for them to replace them.
Victor brought over our electric fireplace. Vic and I carried it downstairs. I plugged it in. It has a very nice flame pattern. Even mom had favorable comment about it.

September 14, 2005


Almost Rent ECI

Our realtor called. He had a lead on a sort term lease. D&M Industries wants a building for nine months. It involved some remodeling but dad and I were pretty excited about the possibility. We met Kevin at ECI and he told us what the customer wanted. It sounded less and less likely. Kevin made a proposal to D&M, but we did not hear back. Kevin called, "I haven't heard from them. I think they must have found something else." At the same time we had to get a hold of Paul Bergland. His stuff is at ECI- dad left a message that it was an emergency, "Please give us a call." Paul still hasn't called back. He's been gone for six months now. There is a lot of stuff he should be doing for us. Not the least of which is paying rent!

September 13, 2005


Up In The Attic

I brought the circular saw up in the attic to notch out the old bookshelves, which had been in the basement. I have decided to put them on the west side of the attic but there are joist in the way. By making two notches in the bookshelves it fits into the joist. It looks pretty good and holds quite a bit. It didn't hurt that I went through my crap and threw away a little stack of stuff. While I had the circular saw up in the attic, I cut a passage way through the west wall, so instead of having to crawl all the way around to get access to parts of the attic, I can simply go through the passage way. I also brought down the old crappy bookshelf, and brought it back to ECI were I got it.

September 12, 2005


Mowing the ECI Football Field

It's been a couple weeks since we paid to have our field at ECI mowed. So, if we don't want to pay again, I better keep it in check. The rain hasn't helped. There are low spots in the field, which have been like a swamp. It's still a little damp, but I think I can get the mower through it. Dad was concerned about the cut 'hay' which was still in the field. The Snappy mower went through it okay. I did have to slow down. The mosquitoes weren't too bad this morning, but it was still hot work pushing the mower over the rough field, tall grass, and hay. I brought my iPod with the Etymotic earphones. They blocked the sound of the lawn mower. It sounded like it was three houses away. The music was clear and I didn't even have it on very loud. I picked up a jar of decaf iced tea with a dollar off coupon.
Sunday (9/11) I stopped at Victor's to pick up more Roundup Herbicide. By the time I got back to ECI it looked like rain. I started by shoveling some of the hills in the field into some of the pot holes. Then I sprayed herbicide on the gravel parking lot trying to kill all the weeds. I got back to Victor's. We watched the Vikings lose their season opener to Tampa Bay. I had a good time hanging out with Victor and Arlene. It tried to rain but we didn't get more than a few drops- thus sealing the weeds' fate.

September 10, 2005


Basement Remodeling Job

Gary and his sidekick showed up today to start painting the basement. Step two of the Basement Remodeling project. I was in the garage moving the shelf were we keep our T8 lamps. Dad had moved the other shelves up so the new gas grill would fit underneath. I wanted them all that the same level. Dad had one shelf propped up with a board- it looked like it might fall any second. My little project was going along okay until I broke the master screw holding the bracket. These are very heavy screws from the racking company. Before Metro P&H moved out of our building we had a nice collection of Uni-strut inventory: bolts, brackets, channel and accessories. But when they moved out they took everything including our inventory and refrigerator. I don't know why we didn't say anything at the time. I searched the garage and found a box of Uni-strut bolts- from when dad, Paul Dobbins and I put up the shelves the first time.
Friday (9/9) Gary was painting the walls blue. Not any blue but a very ugly light blue green. Saturday (9/10) I comment to mom, "It looks like grandma's kitchen in Sydney." This must have concerned mom- ha ha. The interior decorator was there minutes later telling mom that once it all comes together it will look fine. I don't think it will but it's not my call.

September 8, 2005


Personal Ancestral File

I was in the market for a genealogy program. I wanted one that was small but powerful and was standards compliant. I had used Family Tree Maker but I it seem gimicky to me; too much like Microsoft. I also didn't want to pay anything, because I don't need a genealogy program very often. I just need something I can look up names and dates. I used Geditcom on the Mac and this is perfect but it's only on the Mac. I did some research and there are a number of programs. I narrowed it down to three. I selected The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' 'Personal Ancestral File' version 5. They wrote the book as it were on genealogy and they created the GEDCOM format. The program does everything I need for now and it's free. I might need more if I wanted to do fancy charts (PAF 5 does all the basic charts) or if I wanted to post genealogy on the web, but I don't. (I think LDS sells an add-on with more features.)

September 9, 2005


Where Did The Cat Go?

Paul, Suzanne, Sean and Tim went on vacation. They headed south for the Disney world and a 'Christian Rock' Disney Cruise ship. Suzanne keeps playing these Christian Rock CDs, but I can't get into it. I don't think any of those bands are good enough. U2, my favorite band in the world, is practically a Christian Rock band, so it has nothing to do with lyrical content.
I got up early thinking they might show up early and they did- I was dragging basement carpet remnants to the curb for garbage pick up. The boys were excited about going to Disney world. Tim asked about his stuffed tiger from the last vacation. I ran inside. There was bag with all the toys they've left at our house.
After dropping off the Dobbins family at the airport, I stopped for Victor. I told him I would be there this morning but I think he was surprise to see me this early in the morning. Victor finished off his roll of film by photographing me holding his North Dakota book open to a photo of Sydney.

Victor was looking for buns, so we had to stop at Sun Mart. My attention was drawn to Decaffeinated Iced Tea mix. Finally we stopped at McDonalds for breakfast Egg McMuffins- yum. I took Victor to work and headed home. Later that morning I took Victor's roll of film to Cash Wise where his cousin works. I used the second of four coupons buying up 2-for-1 video coupon books. It brings the rental price down to 75 cents for new releases. I bought a USB card on Ebay. I was thinking of rebuilding my Mac 7500 and I used my old USB card in the 'Accidental G3'.

Like the last time I cat sat, I went over late. The Huey was happy to see me. Holly was nowhere to be seen, but I didn't think anything of it at the time. I watched the season opener on Thursday Night Football. Friday night (9/9) I watched some old rock videos on VH1 classic. Saturday night I watched one of Suzanne's favorite movies, "Born Yesterday" with Judy Holiday. It was good but not great. Suzanne has two P.J. Uric books on tape. I took the time to transfer them to my iPod. I probably won't listen to them any time soon, but I enjoyed "Contact" on the trip to Redwood Falls, so I like the idea of having them available the next time I have to make a long trip. Sunday, Bob and I went over after supper to watch "The Simpsons" and "Sahara", which I rented on DVD. I still haven't seen Holly and I'm beginning to wonder if he's here? He appears to be, unless Huey is eating his food and pooping enough for the two of them. (Empty the cat litter today.) Monday (9/12) I had left over Godfather's Pizza, which I left in their fridge and also found left over almost an entire pizza from The Sandtrap. It was good but needs to be adjusted. There is probably too much garlic on it. The cheese, which Suzanne thought was too much is a poor mixture of cheeses. I watch Monday Night Football and channel surf the dish. Tuesday night I was taping "Rockstar INXS", my favorite show, but I couldn't resist so I watched it at Suzanne's. I had more pizza and then went on a search mission for Holly. I couldn't find him anywhere. As I was about to leave I decided to sneak into the basement with the lights off. Huey was upstairs. I saw a pair of eyes for a moment. Either this is Holly or a large rat. Wednesday night, Holly came down from the loft as I came in the door, so I got a good look at him. IFC was playing "Punk Attitude" which was a very interesting movie although they missed Husker Du and The Jam.

I got the USB card to rebuild my 7500, but I couldn't get the video to work. I didn't get very far. I took the computer to Suzanne's. I'm letting the boys use my 17" Apple Studio monitor. They also have two 14" monitors in the basement. A quick test reveals none of them work- so it's obviously the computer. I suppose I could rebuild Victor's 7500 but I hate to waste any more time or energy on the 7500- it's just a little too old.

Friday, I finished off the pizza. I water the plants one more time and empty the cat's litter box too. Saturday (9/17) I'm excited to see Suzanne, Paul and the boys. I leave early. I see the plane pull up as I drive up. However there is a United flight ahead of it. It takes at least half an hour before I see Sean and Tim come running down the sidewalk to see me. They all had a good time. The weather was fine. They were pestered by phone calls about PD's at least until they got on the ship and put out to sea.

September 8, 2005


Cow Outline

Last year Suzanne ran PD's ads in the St Joseph bulletin and this year she is doing the same. I lost last years files so I had to start afresh, starting by scanning the cow outline logo which is found on their business card. The PD's at Osgood name is longer than last year's PD's on First so I had to move stuff around. St Joseph must photocopy the bulletin, so I printed this tiny ad on higher quality paper.
Suzanne invited me out to Olive Garden. She likes the soup too. Now the kids are back in school I'm hoping to do lunch with her more often. Suzanne talked about St Joseph School. She is the school's new liaison to the parish, which owns the school. We talked about what the church and school could do to boost attendance- mostly get the name and mission out. I don't think too many people know the school exists.
Friday (9/9) I haven't heard from Paul or Suzanne what they want to do about the PDsonFirst.com web site, but it's not being run as PD's downtown and someone should point out it's at Osgood, so I update their web site with these changes in mind. I also got a new League of Women Voters newsletter to post. I used this as an opportunity to update the LWVND.org site. So much of the web site is out of date it was easy to strip the site down and build it back up using a lot more CSS, which makes it easier to code by hand. This is the first LWV newsletter I'm laying out in Word and exporting as a PDF. I wanted a hard copy but couldn't find one at the satellite library. I let them know. I'm a little disappointed I'm not getting any current information from the group. Not like when Suzanne was in charge.

September 7, 2005


Meidinger Reunion in Jamestown

With the heavy rains I wanted to check out ECI. I had an hour. I called Victor; he would come along for a while. I picked him up and over we went. The walls in the file room were wet, there was some water on the wood desk and the carpet was damp but not enough to vacuum up. Victor and I inspected the broken window in the warehouse. I noticed two Armstrong Air Conditioners in the parking lot. Someone had dumped them in the last day. You could even see the tire tracks in the wet gravel. I could research this like CSI, but tracking down the serial numbers might be impossible. It put me in a bad mood. I have enough trouble at ECI without people causing me more trouble.

I got back as we were ready to leave for Jamestown. I listened to music on my iPod. My Etymotics ER6i blocked out the road noise and the noise from the front seat. We stopped to pick up Grandma Bertha. Because I had my earphones in I didn't hear the part about splitting up. Dad was going to the Gardenette. Mom, Karon and grandma were going to the cemetery. Mom asked if I wanted to come along. This sounded interesting so I went with mom. Karon was waiting with grandma Bertha. Bertha was in a good mode and talkative. We chatted out to the cemetery. Bertha had paid for a gravestone next to grandpa Arnold. She wanted to see it. It was a beautiful day. A good day to get some exercise- I took photos of mom, Karon and Bertha. I took the opportunity to photograph other family gravestones: Letcher, Maas, and Buckwalter.

Karon took a wrong turn on the way back to the Gardenette. We talked about the hurricane and the mistakes New Orleans made preparing for it. Duane and Gene were setting up. Donna Tees was preparing in the kitchen. Right behind us: Marie Meidinger with her daughter Darlene Zimmer. Emma Letcher wasn't feeling well, but Earl and Ann Letcher showed up as did Sharon and Ed Kleingartner. Other Meidinger's include three from Streeter: Violet Bachman (Jacob Meidinger's daughter) and a couple who's name I've already forgotten. My uncle Neal Letcher arrived. We talked about his painting business for a while. He's painting farms this summer in Ypsilanti. My second cousin Cheryl Tees arrived and stopped to say hello. Her sister Brenda was there but I didn't get around to her before she left. David Orr and my cousin Nathan Orr arrive. I talked with Nathan before and during lunch- chicken from Hugos. David wouldn't comment on the hurricane and the failure of the government to take care of the victims in a timely manner. I asked Neal if he had any trick of the trade, which might help me find the leak in the ECI roof. No.

After lunch, it broke up into smaller groups. David and Nathan left. Mom was selling Mary Kay cosmetics to Peggy Maas. Gene was showing Ed some Meidinger photos- or at least his computer and the types of programs he had. I was sort of lost, everyone at my table left. The other table was full of women talking about Colonoscopies. Although I didn't know the couple from Streeter, Duane was there, and he's very good about making introductions. (If only I was as good at remembering them.) Duane explained how they were related to me. Violet and Duane had worked on Meidinger submissions to the Streeter Centennial book. They were quite friendly so even after Duane left I was able to continue our conversation about California and Streeter, ND. Violet had brought some old family photos. A photo of the Summer Kitchen had excited Duane. A small building behind the farmhouse which in recent years was burned down. (The story is the building cause snow drifts in the winter. There was nothing wrong with the building but it wasn't used. And it was easier to burn it down than take it down.) This was the building Lydia (Meidinger) Maas was born in; where here family lived for a couple years. The photo was much better than the Polaroid Lydia had.
Gene got out the HP scanner he got on eBay to replace his old one. He had trouble getting it to work. I pointed out the Twain was probably set for a different scanner but by then he had forced quit the program. I pointed out the HP scanning software, which worked. I didn't have much in the way of setting (prescan) and the resolution was only 300 dpi? Gene was scanning Violet's photos and showing Ed and Sharon how he had scanned all those family photos. I took some photos of my own, but not many and in some no one is facing the camera. (on my web site.)
More people left and those that remained formed a big circle and we talked about politics and the hurricane. Karon talked about crime and the upcoming Sheriff's election. After this interesting conversation it was time to leave. I loaded up our car and announced, "It's going to rain in five minutes." Duane asked how I knew this. "I can see the clouds coming." This was odd because the sun was shining in the west and the weather always comes from the northwest, but not in this case. I helped Karon bring grandma Bertha to the car. It was raining and a little bit of hail. Then it started to pour. I didn't get much of a chance to say goodbye. Just run to the car and off we went. We didn't get far. By the time we were to the truck stop it was raining so hard we couldn't see the road. Mom pulled off the road onto the truck stop parking lot. I suggested either going back to the Gardenette to wait out the rain, or go for pizza. Mom understood this to mean go back and get a pizza. Dad had no opinion. "What do you want to do," mom asked. I said, "Lets go back to the Gardenette." It was only four blocks away. They were a little surprised to see us, but they could also see how hard it was raining. Mom brought up my idea for pizza. Duane was all for it. I'm glad I had an allied because everyone else was talking about having all the left over chicken. I helped Gene load up his computer and supplies. Mom called in two pizzas. We decided to have pizza and chicken, but to move the party to Lydia's. I picked up the pizzas at Pizza Hut. We got to Lydia's at the same time everyone else did. We gathered around the table for food and fun. It's no wonder everyone talks about those Sunday diners at Walt and Lydia's- it they were anywhere near as fun as this was- they really make you feel good, and thankful for the blessing of the Maas family. Everyone was joking and kidding. Duane was making everyone laugh with is antics. Mom talked about the NDSU IT department. Peggy relayed a story about Cathy and her boss. Norma talked about her grandsons Ethan and Jarred. It was 8:30 PM and we had to get on the road.
I was thankful for the rainstorm. It only lasted five minutes after we had returned to the Gardenette but it gave us an excuse to stay another two hours. I got to say a proper goodbye with hugs and handshakes. Duane watched us pull away. Dad, mom and I continued the conversation on the way home. We talked about the lack of professionalism at NDSU IT department. The intangible rewards of teaching and the intangible rewards she felt she received working in the direct sales field.

September 5, 2005


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