Craig Maas
Notes 2005


Char Maas as Carmen Miranda Mom dressed up like Carmen Miranda for work last Friday. She even had a bowl of fruit on her head. Paul, Suzanne, Sean and Tim arrived at our house early. They wanted to go out Trick-or-Treating right away. Dinner was half an hour away so Paul and I took Sean and Tim around the block. It was a nice evening. Not too cold, the wind was calm, and most of our neighbors were participating. Sean was dressed in camouflage as an army man. Tim was dressed as a Mexican with a sombrero, poncho, dyed black hair and a mustache. Sean asked if I would take him out again after supper. I told him I would. Paul and Suzanne wanted to take Tim home and get the dye out of his hair. I was dressed warm: hat and gloves. I had my iPod playing. I walked Sean around the neighborhood. It didn't take too long as Sean didn't have gloves and his camouflage GAP baseball cap wasn't keeping his ears warm. Sean finished with almost half a pillowcase full of candy.
When I took Sean home I put in some fake candy teeth and pulled my 'Gator' hat over my eyes and nose; ringing the doorbell, "Trick or Treat. I is Mole-man!" Suzanne laughs. Paul, Suzanne and I discuss the quality of candy now vs. the quality when we were kids. Name brand candy bars vs. candy corn.
Suzanne is watching some crappy TV show. I read Tim a story. Actually Tim reads it to me. "Chicken Little" (based on the movie.) Tim has trouble with some multiple syllable words but does a good job. Sean wants me to tell him a Halloween Story. I exaggerated the tale of dad's Halloween Party he threw for Suzanne, Blaine Houston, Mark Heley, Chris Goodman, Billy, and Stevie Chamberlin and I.

October 31, 2005

Layer Cake

I had a headache and felt achy. I think I was coming down with a cold or something. I took a nap and it lasted most of the day. Suzanne took Paul and boys to Jamestown to visit Grandma Bertha and aunt Karon. She's trying to collect some family stories. When they got home Sean called and invited me over, "We're having spaghetti."
That's all I needed to hear. Paul offered me a glass of wine. I should have passed, as it didn't help my headache. Sean and I played 'Two Square' in the garage before supper. After supper I helped Tim build Lego toys. Suzanne told me to pick up a movie. I've been saving this one: "Layer Cake". I make a mental note of off movies, which I know Suzanne will like, that are highly rated, but something she would be unlikely to know about or rent. This movie is about an English mobster starring Colm Meaney and Daniel Craig (The new James Bond). Suzanne sent the boys upstairs to watch their own movie. The TV upstairs was louder downstairs than the downstairs TV. Paul would yell upstairs to turn it down. But the real problem was the volume is too low downstairs and Suzanne won't turn it up. I can barely hear them. Suzanne is knitting, so I don't know how she can follow along.

October 29, 2005

Speak Easy

I moved out all the furniture in the Bonus Room yesterday. We have steam cleaners coming over to clean the carpets. I got just about everything into my bedroom. I used this as an excuse to dismantle the Lolly table. The carpet seemed to dry in every room but the Bonus Room. Days later it still felt damp to my bare feet. When I moved back, I didn't move everything back. The Lolly table went into the attic and I left my tapes in my closet. I was going to move the TV and couch around but in the end left it where it was.
Victor asked if I want to go out and eat. His wife was at some function so we went to the Speak Easy in Moorhead. It's a nice place; I love their Lasagna Italiano. It was crowded but it didn't take long for us to get a table. After a nice dinner and a fun conversation, we stopped at Cash Wise Video. Disk 1 of "Deadwood" was out so I picked up a copy of "SWAT" - it was better than I thought. Victor asked me, "Is your floor wet?"
"Yes, that's why I have my feet up!"

October 28, 2005

Hallmark Is Moving

I stopped to deliver some lamps to Doug Gramm at Hallmark. We started talking and he told me Northport if forcing him to move to the other end of the strip mall. When his lease was renewed they put a clause in to move them if Hornbachers wanted more space. They do, so Doug has to move. He showed me the lighting plan and I answered some of his questions. I stopped at Ben Franklin. I delivered some lamps. I was supposed to fix some fixtures but I had a hard time figuring out which fixtures they were. Keith Larson was gone, so I decided to do it another day. When I was coming back from Ben Franklin Doug stopped me. He asked me to run an analysis on using fluorescent vs. Halogen flood around the perimeter of the new store. I ran it Wednesday and emailed it to him. There was no comparison- fluorescent is substantial cheaper both in energy cost and lamp cost.

October 25, 2005

Offer On The ECI Warehouse

Kevin Swann, our realtor, called. He came over with news of an offer on our warehouse. Along with the offer he had a check for $100,000. Was this supposed to impress us? I see round numbers as not serious. Dad seemed more excited by the offer. I wasn't. But I told Kevin to give us time to think about it. The other terms of the offer were okay; the buyer didn't require us to do much other than turn on the water and heat. When Kevin left, dad and I talked about the offer. This led to the question how do we get a hold of Paul Bergland; to let him know he has to move out. I suggested dad drive over to his house. I don't think Paul was home, but he did get the message. So after months of being out of contact, Paul was finally communicating to us again.

Thursday (10/27) Kevin came over. We told him to counter offer $118,000. We adjusted the paperwork. Kevin didn't seem down on this counter offer- he certainly didn't say it might scare the guy away. Yet even 118K seemed too little. Kevin called Friday (10/26) with another counter offer $106,000. We told him we'd think about it over the weekend. Dad and I talked about offer. We would each take a side and argue then we would switch sides and argue some more. I had been doing some thinking. Two thoughts guided my decision. One, dad and I have some good ideas to sell or rent the property but have had little success in following through with them. Second, when I talked with Kevin at the door he mentioned he had shown the building to thirty people. This was more than I had figured, and it pointed out I might have to wait longer than I thought to get the price I want. We are not in a hurry to sell the building, but there is an opportunity cost associated with it. As I pointed out to dad, "My Natural Resources Mutual Fund is up 50% year to date." Granted I probably wouldn't put all my money in this fund but holding an empty building and the expenses it entails is not a good investment.
After a little more discussion we decided to accept the offer. We didn't call Kevin right away. We waited for his call on Monday in case we changed our mind or wanted to ask some questions or have further discussions.

Monday (10/31) Kevin comes over with the contract, which we change for the second time. Dad looks for the title. He has a fat folder of paperwork. (We've owned the building since 1976) But we can't find the title. Kevin calls the abstract company, our lawyer and our bank but no luck, so we have to pay the State of North Dakota to come up with it.

October 24, 2005

St Maximilian Kolbe

We got a call during supper on Monday (10/17). Dad took the call but handed it to me. Mom made a negative comment about calling during supper. I took the call to our basement office. Deacon Vince Tomkovicz of the St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic church in Westlake Village, CA was looking at some DT1000 occupancy sensors. I answered his questions and it sounded promising. I told mom, "They're in California, so it's only 4:30 there." I also told Victor, "It's not good when someone calls looking to sell you something, but it is good if they call looking to buy something." Vince ordered three DT1000 today. Even better he didn't need MP120 power packs, which I'm running low on. Vince was going to email me but didn't. I looked up his email address and sent him a PayPal invoice. I had the wrong quantity. It will teach me to jump the gun. I got it all straightened out. He paid quickly and I shipped them out Monday.

October 20, 2005

Finish The Basement Cupboard Trim

Yesterday, dad and I installed all the hardware on the basement cupboards. Dad made a template but I found it was more trouble than it was worth. The first hole was off and we had to fill it. The second hole was off and we had to enlarge it. Finally I just started measuring each hole- I didn't have any trouble after that. We did a little trim work around the television. It wasn't too hard get the television in, although it was a tight fit. Dad didn't move the supports and we never put in the shelf under the top cupboard- so I was right all along. The Toshiba's picture seems slightly distorted. I fiddled with all the settings and got the picture as good as I could get it.
Dean Groth showed up Wednesday (10/19). Dad and Dean spent all day finishing the trim on top of the cupboard. I didn't think it would be all that difficult. But to get the trim flush to the ceiling Dean had to rip cut a thin tapered spacer. It seemed to take forever but they did get it done.

October 19, 2005

Dement Photos

I have a CD with a bunch of photos of our former neighbor's the Dements. I've been carrying it in the van, which is kind of stupid because I don't really know where to take it. I asked mom about Shari's last name. I looked up Shari (Dement) and Mike Craik on Google. I found out Mike is working for JDP Electric and they have two daughters. I had some time and I was on the north side of town. I checked the phone books I carry in the van and found their address. It wasn't far from Northport Ben Franklin. But no one was home. Suzanne told me I should get a hold of Michelle. She's a lawyer downtown. I had to deliver some ballasts and lamps to CNV. I checked the phone book and thought I had found her law firm. When I got home I searched the web and confirmed it was Michelle Donarski. I sent an email. I got an answer right away- she's out of the office. Michelle wrote me Monday (10/24). She seemed very pleased to hear from me. I still have to get her the CD.

October 18, 2005

My Cousin Ryan Gets Married

My cousin Ryan (34), who I've only met once, got married Saturday (10/1). My uncle Rod posted photos on his website I only have four cousins; it would have been nice to attend the wedding, but it would have taken too long to drive and yet was too expensive to fly. The photos are nice. I especially like the get away. Ryan drove his bride Jennifer Joy away from the reception in Rod's Bucket-T Hot Rod. It was only a couple years ago Rod told me, "Ryan's like you. He's set in his ways. He'll never marry." Shortly after telling me this Ryan ran into a classmate from high school and fell in love.
I wrote Rod an email thanking him for the photos. Rod's sister, my aunt, Karon emailed me, "Could you burn me a CD with the photos." I down loaded PageSucker for the ARS2500 and had it grab all the photos on Rod's website. I was looking at his home page for the wedding and felt it was be a good test of my CSS skills to redo it. I worked on it for half an hour and got it looking very nice with dramatically less code than Rod used.

October 17, 2005


I'm losing my memory or at least part of it. That part that remembers what you should be doing. I'm not concerned because that's how memory is supposed to work. And as you grow older the forgetting becomes more aggressive. To offset this I've been keeping notes. As the forgetting becomes more aggressive I need the notes closer to my person and I need a system, which will make it easy to keep more notes. I've thought about a PDA but they kind of turn me off: they're expensive, big, bulky and not very flexible. I was listening to a podcast on TWIT.TV and they had bad things to say about all the PDAs but then mentioned Moleskine reporter pads. This is sort of what I was thinking about- something cheap but stylish. They made it sound like it was a cult item. It sounds about right. Just when I get interested in something, usually something, which I think only I'm interested in, it seems everyone is.
Victor called about lunch. I was happy to get out of the house. The ARS2500 crashed just before he came so it was a good time to stop. Windows XP has been crashing a lot lately. I'm guessing it's the automatic upgrades. I should probably stop letting it upgrade, but I'm also afraid of the security holes in XP. I can see a Mac Mini in my future.
Driving around I suggested the lunch buffet at Godfathers Pizza. This was a good idea. We had a nice chat and the food was good- I love that dessert pizza. Victor chatted with some acquaintances that he couldn't identify. I asked Victor to swing by Office Max. We dodged Somalian's and Nigerians- I don't think they teach them to drive before they give them cars. I checked out all the little notebooks, journals, address books, and pocket calendars. My favorite was a small composition book for $1.19. But it was too large and too expensive. (For the cbc anyway.) Victor and I did look at some PDAs. Sharp has a model that is only $20. It might be worthwhile just to see if it's something that would grow on me. I'm guessing not. Victor dodges more Nigerians on the way back.

October 15, 2005

Sort Dobbins Photos

Suzanne asked me to baby-sit. Now that Paul doesn't have to work 100+ hours a week they can go out and enjoy themselves. I'm glad Paul finally has a chance to unwind a little. I arrived at their house. In the rear view mirror Paul was right behind me with Tim. And behind Paul, Suzanne arrived with Sean. They had just come back from Happy Joes. Tim had a headache so he took an Ibuprofen and laid down. Sean wanted to play soccer. He set up the net and we took turns shooting goals. Mostly Sean shot and I stood around touching the swing set with my shadow about 100 feet long. I went inside to heat up some Happy Joes pizza. Tim come down from the loft, he didn't seem to be suffering at all. They most not have got enough to eat, because they both asked me to heat up pizza. The three of us finished all the pepperoni pizza. Sean and Tim were play fighting. I tried to get online with Suzanne's computer but something wasn't working- I couldn't get online. I looked at their recent photos. Paul has copied multiple copies of these folders into multiple folders. I spent half an hour sorting them all out. I brought my flash drive to made a copy for myself, but I wasn't sure which ones I had and which ones I didn't. I printed a spec sheet about her computer: a Mac G4/733 tower. She needs more memory if I upgrade it to OS 10.3.9, but she has plenty of hard disk space.
I brought Victor's copy of the July 4th Celebration in Washington DC. Although Sean and Tim were there, they didn't seem to have much interest in the video. I thought it was pretty good and the music was good too.
I didn't have any trouble getting the boys to bed. They both wanted stories. Tim impressed me by reading out loud a book on Leopards. After Tim went to sleep or pretended to, Sean asked me to make up a story. He wanted me to tell about going to the cemetery on Halloween at midnight with Blaine Houston when I was in third grade. I couldn't remember the story per se, so I used it as an excuse to tell a different tale with the same framework. Blaine and I trick some high school kids. Too long and involved to repeat here, but Sean loved it.

October 14, 2005

Toshiba Television

I loaded up the van with lawn furniture and brought it to the ECI warehouse. Once I got everything at ECI our realtor will probably sell the building. "We'll cross that bridge when we get to it." Saturday mom and dad fill up the van with all the small lawn items and bring over to ECI.

Dad picked up a 32" Toshiba 32AF45 at Best Buy. It was a floor model so he got a good deal on it. We were both disappointed that mom refused to take my 32" Sylvania television. It had a small crack in the case but it was no big deal. 32" is too big for my room. It okay now that I set the focus to blur. Sunday (10/17) Sears had the flat screen 27" Sylvania on sale. The same model Victor purchased; the perfect size for my room.
Dad and I carried it downstairs but he wouldn't let us install it. He had all these big plans for the opening. "It's a solution in search of a problem." I told him. "Once you have the television in the opening you won't be able to see anything behind it. Tuesday (10/18), when Dean and Ray finished the trim, they didn't do anything to the opening other than add a trim piece, which I suggested. I installed the television and adjusted the setting. The picture seems slighting distorted to me. It's either my imagination or something hidden was adjusted- it was a floor model.

October 14, 2005

Lifecycle Analysis

We were asked to run some sort of life cycle analysis on the Wooddale Church job. I was looking forward to this. I had a slip of paper on the bottom of my in box tray that has been sitting there for months. On it I had written all the factors I thought we should or could address when comparing various systems. Things like cost of ownership, depreciation, cost of money: all the items that are found in a Lifecycle Analysis. I didn't want to reinvent the wheel so I looked on the Internet for a spreadsheet. I didn't expect to find a perfect spreadsheet. I just wanted something I could use as a springboard for my own. I spent the morning perfecting my own LCC spreadsheet, then we didn't use it. I still didn't mind because I got a usable LLC ready for when I need it.

lecternI would like to do more writing but can't find the motivation to start or continue once I do start. This new Dell 6000 is supposed to help and it is a nice computer. I can write and do the research anywhere in the house with the wireless broadband connection. So, I started writing on my bed. I can stretch out with pillows behind me. With the computer on my lap, I wasn't very comfortable. The bottom of the computer is too warm and it's hard to balance for long periods of time. I decided to build a lectern out of cardboard with mom's hot glue gun. This worked fine. I did have to cut it down a little bit. I'm glad I made it out of cardboard it was easy to modify. I had been using it for a couple weeks. I had a list of things I would change: namely make it narrower. The cardboard sides were beginning to collapse, so now that we have the saws and wood in the garage (from the cabinet project) I decided to make a new lectern out of wood. I made it narrower and removed all the sides around the top. It's three pieces of wood nailed together. I stained the unfinished areas. It still looks petty crappy and it's not exactly flat on the bottom but it's much better than my cardboard lectern.

Suzanne called, "Paul and I are going to lunch. Do you want to come along?" Yes, any excuse to get out of the house. We went to Johnny Carouso's Italian restaurant. The manager knew Paul. Paul told him he sold PDs. Paul was immediately offered a position, but it was in Bismarck. Suzanne talked about church: her new favorite topic. I don't have much to say on the topic, but then neither does Paul. I ask about the Meirs nomination.

Thursday (10/13) I've been writing my journal on the Dell using ClarisWorks . Then I transfer it to the ARS2500 and 'lay it out' using Word 2000. Next, I transfer it again to Notetab Light were I edit the material down and add any HTML. Finally, I post it to my blog. By that time I'm tired and let any errors go. I got a spur up my you-know-what for Microsoft, so I've resisted installing Word 2000 on the Dell. But, ClarisWorks 5.0 seems to have trouble cutting and pasting. My frustration is building. I went looking for an open source word processor. There are a couple, mostly bloated, Office suites or text editors. I download a couple to test. Word Perfect was installed on the Dell, but I removed it. (I still have the disk). I have Word Star (or whatever is in the Lotus Suite). I found out it's easy to set Word 2000 to default to RTF. Whatever word processor I decide on I want the file to be an open format. I do not want to be forced to use a particular program, particularly Microsoft, to open a simple formatted text file. I took ClarisWorks off the Dell, I left the open source programs untested, I left WordPerfect and WordStar uninstalled. I installed Office. It takes me a while, because I'm picky. I do a custom install, which is very stripped down. I set up my personal toolbars in Word and Excel. I set Word to save all files as RTF files. I'm sort of amazed there isn't a simple open source (read free) word processor. I'm also thinking the open source people should work on a replacement for Quicken (which has become bloated) and QuickBooks (which is missing some standard features.)

October 10, 2005

Tim and Sean Stay Over The Weekend

Paul Dobbins stopped by this morning. I knew something was up when he had to bags in his hand. At first I thought Suzanne had kicked him out of the house, but I figured he wouldn't be carrying 'Sponge Bob Square Pants' luggage. Then I vaguely remember saying they were staying over night, but this was weeks ago and I hadn't heard anything more about it. Neither had mom, but she had volunteered. Mom appeared to have filled up her calendar pretty good. So I found myself entertaining my nephews for a couple days. Sean wanted to play tackle football all the time. I didn't have any trouble man handling him until he popped me in the nose with his hard head. My nose made a slight sound, hurt like hell, but didn't bleed. Dad returned from Minneapolis in time for supper. The boys wouldn't even try the wild rice chicken soup. That fine, there's more for me then. Sean and Tim were acting crazy at the dinner table, which caused dad to snap at them. They were just nervous and rather act polite and normal they act wild and crazy.

Saturday (10/8) Sean and Tim were up early but didn't bother me, because they busy helping mom make a big breakfast of waffles, bacon, toast, sausage and eggs. It's one thing they look forward too when they stay at out house. Mom took off again. Sean wanted to play football. Tim and I were coloring. They both wanted to play Internet video games on my computer. I let Sean play on it yesterday and I can see it set a bad precedent. They put in some videos and DVDs but they would not stay put to watch them. Sean and Tim were playing together- pretending to fight. Tim is getting more aggressive against his brother so it's not as one sided as it has been in the past. I told the boys to make a list of what they wanted in their house. I made lunch. We stopped at their house to pick up some of Sean's soccer gear that Paul forgot. Tim was supposed to get some toys but he got distracted. The cats puked on the fireplace. I stopped to clean it up. Sean was running around trying to get everything. Tim was dragging his feet, but we managed to get to the soccer fields on time. It wasn't too cold but the wind was very strong and Tim wanted to stay in the van. I let him stay in the van. I would walk down to the field and take some photos, offer up some water and offer encouragement. Sean and some other kid were playing grab-hat. The other kid started it but when Sean retaliated the other kid's father came from across the field to break it up.
When we got home I got the boys to settle down a little. They were playing on the steps. I was writing my journal. They started sliding down the steps. I would have stopped them but mom was home and if she didn't complain I figured it was fine. After supper it was more football. I talked the boys into playing Harry Potter 3 DVD, which I had not seen. Once I got the light off, they settled down to watch the movie. They disappeared once mom was ready to make cookies. I thought the movie was really good. Tim and Sean have seen it a couple times. After the movie it was bedtime. Sean wanted me to make up a story about King Arthur. I used the latest movie about the Roman Command as my basis and got really into the story. After about twenty minutes I could hear Sean breathing. "Sean are you awake?" turns out Sean fell asleep probably ten minutes ago and the while I was busily inventing my version of the Arthur legend.

Sunday (10/9) morning Tim wanted to go with mom and dad to church. Sean wanted to stay with me. I told him he should go with mom and dad. I made sure there was nothing for him to do. "I'm watching 'This Week'" Nothing like talking heads discussing politics to discourage an eight-year-old boy. Friday, Bob had asked about "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit". I told him that would be a good idea as the boys were staying over. I didn't realize Suzanne and Paul would be home this early Sunday. Suzanne and Paul picked up their suitcase and went home. I called Bob, "I have to get the boys home by 4:00- so we have to go to the 2:00 PM show." Bob got here in plenty of time. The boys were excited to see Bob. I was happy to see him too, as my head was hurting and Bob deflected their attention. I took some ibuprofen and relaxed. It worked but I also fell asleep through part of the movie. I feel bad about this because the movie was really good. I'd give it an A. We dropped the boys off at home. Sean, Bob and I played soccer in the front yard. Well, Bob and Sean did. Whenever I got the ball I would kick it as far away as possible and make Sean run and get it.

October 7, 2005

YMCA Heritage Dinner

Dad was in Minneapolis so I was told, not asked, to attend this Heritage Dinner with mom. Dad is the current Treasurer for the Y's Men's service club and also donated to the Endowment Fund. I was underdressed in Dockers and a sweater. I'm surprised mom didn't say anything. I didn't know what to expect. I'd never been to the Fargo Country Club before. I didn't even know where it was and would have never guessed its location. The dinner was held in a large L shaped room. I may have been under-dressed but I didn't think much of it- two gentlemen from the FM Crusaders motorcycle club where there in jeans and leather. The club had made a very generous donation so they were warmly welcomed. I saw our mayor Bruce Furness arrives. The ballroom was full of insurance salesmen, investment brokers, realtors, and bankers.
The chairman of the Endowment Board, David Bailly, came over to greet us. Then he went over to greet the Crusaders, and other guests. I was laughing to myself. Mom asked what was so funny. I pointed out Bailly, was obviously a salesman, as he had no trouble striking up a conversation with anyone. I'm not saying it was a substantial conversation, in fact just the opposite, but he was determined to greet everyone- just what you need in a chairman.
Larry Fritz and his wife come in. Larry asked mom when the old gang was involved with the Y's Men. Mom turned to me, "Craig knows all those dates." I pointed out we went to the National Convention in 1969. I take it the service club faded out in the 70s only to return recently.
Paul Finstad who heads up the FM YMCA came over and introduced himself. I was nice to meet him, as I talk to him occasional on the phone.
Beth Rogness' father had just died, but David Rogness did stop by for dinner before rejoining his wife. I talked with him a little bit, but Dick Walstad was sitting next to him and must have been ha good friend. The people at our table were all talking about the Air Guard and Air Sho but as they were talking about personalities rather than aircraft I didn't have much to say about it. The meal was pretty good. Thomas Jefferson (another insurance agent) got up to sing the Invocation. (Later he sang an old Randy Newman song, which I found a little incongruous, but oddly appropriate.) Awards, recognitions and a review of the local YMCA mission and financial health followed this. It went quickly and was pretty interesting.
One of the recognitions was the recent retirement of their secretary. She had a comment about Fargo. It's the perfect size. It's large enough to support all these fine activities; yet is small enough to run into the mayor at the grocery store. I agree. If anything it's gotten a little too large. I can't understand this rush to grow the size of the city. Erv Inniger was the keynote speaker. I thought his speech was rough around the edges. I couldn't figure out the point. Erv could use a coach like Sara Schaffer. Hopefully his fund raising speech for NDSU is better.
Mom pointed out Carol and Dorwin Marquardt. "Do you want to go over an say hello?" I couldn't pass up this opportunity. Monday I had made up a story involving Mrs. Marquardt, for Sean's bedtime story. I gave her a hug and asked how's my favorite 3rd grade teacher. I must have made an impression, as Carol grabbed mom Sunday (10/9), "I was on cloud 9 all week." Well, she was my favorite elementary teacher.

October 6, 2005

Cinnamon Twist Lipstick

I got a call this morning from Twylah. She's a family friend and fellow Mary Kay beauty consultant. Twylah was looking for a tube of Cinnamon Twist lipstick. I did some looking but didn't find it. I told her to call mom. Mom called and guided me around the basement in a futile hunt to find it. In the end I did find it in the back room. I called mom, mom called Twylah and Twylah stopped by to pick it up.
But it wasn't all Mary Kay today. Dad called from Harris with a long list of boilers that he wanted me to calculate the utility costs and potential savings on for the Wooddale Church.

October 6, 2005

Carpet Pete and Tackstrip Tad

The carpet showed up this morning. It was pretty noisy as they nailed in the tact strip into the concrete floor. They had the pad down in no time. I took some photos while they prepared the carpet. They had the carpet down by the time mom stopped for lunch. It's a medium-brown short shag. We got some weird colors down in the basement. I predict we'll be repainting by next year. Pete and his helper finished early in the afternoon. I reminded him he had to stretch the carpet in the guest bedroom. Pete took two inches out of the carpet. It's odd because the carpet dates to 1976 and only recently has bubbled up. I asked about the furnace room door. They didn't forget to put it back on- it needs to be trimmed. I took care of that the following week. Carpet Pete and his sidekick 'Tackstrip Tad' left around three.
That evening I went to ECI. I got a call from Mayville, WI for some Mytech Occupancy Sensors. It was a good size order, so I had to pick some more up at the warehouse. I swung by Victor's house to say hello. Vic brought out snacks while I stayed to watch "Criminal Minds" and "CSI New York"

October 5, 2005

Move The Furniture

The carpet for the basement is being laid tomorrow. We have to clean the room. Mom is also having the carpet in the guest bedroom stretched, as there are bumps in it now. We carry all the furniture out of the room and stack it up in the master bedroom and hallway. Victor talked about coming over after work. I encouraged him so I could trick him into helping me carry the Treadmill into the garage. It's heavy and bulky. We also moved the credenza into the office. He's lucky we finished the guest bedroom or he'd be carrying that too. Victor got his revenge by having me design a MDU sales flyer for Dey Distributing.

October 4, 2005

Suzanne Turns The Big Four-Oh

I took Suzanne and Paul to Olive Garden on Suzanne's birthday. I made them stop at Kinkos so I could ship some material Fed Ex. Suzanne's 40th Birthday really snuck up on me. Suzanne says it hasn't bothered her turning 40. I know it bothered me when I turned 40. I'm not sure why but it did and it took me a couple months to get use to the idea. Dad and I were busy working on the basement cabinets. He wants to finish before leaving. Dad is driving to Minneapolis to spend rest of the week at Harris Mechanical. I'm a little surprised we aren't spending all day working Harris jobs. But dad feels we have our paper work done or mom has a higher priority. Dad was long gone by the time mom returned home. She complains about the work on the cabinets. She doesn't want dad doing any of the work, but I think he's doing a good job.
Paul Dobbins hasn't planned a birthday dinner but we were invited over for cake and ice cream. Mom and I stop at Quiznos- mom's new favorite fast food joint. We pick up the cake and ice cream. Sean and Tim are excited to see us. We put on birthday hats, light the candles and sing. Suzanne got the Apple iPod Nano from Paul, just what she wanted. She didn't play with it so she didn't see all the material I put on it for her. Paul and Suzanne showed mom photos and videos from the family trip to Disney World, the cruise and Miami. I made up a couple bedtime stories for Tim and Sean.

October 3, 2005

Milder Headaches

I think I have one of those three-day headaches. There is something about it that feels like those monster super bad three-day headaches where I can't do anything and the pain is brutal. However, as of late, I've notice my headaches are much milder. They just don't get as bad as they use to. On the down side it seems like I get more headaches- as many as I did when I worked at Baker Wholesale, ate chocolate bars and lots of Coca Cola every day.
Today would normally be a day where I would have to close the blinds and lay in bed all day. But instead I stay away from the TV, my computer and reading. Instead I tried to eat more often, and get some fresh air. I also pop Ibuprofen and aspirin- but less than normal. Suzanne's call this morning put me behind, but I still had time to mow the lawn at ECI. The exertion was good for me. Queen on the iPod made the hours go quickly. Victor was working at Dey. I drove by his house but he wasn't home.
After lunch I lie down and let my head calm down. I was feeling better so I hit the soccer game.
I told Suzanne, "I had the windows open Friday and the smell of the leaves brought me back to 1972. I was riding my bike back from Ben Franklin Jr. High School and stopped to talk with Mr. Walter Fogel our elementary school principle."
"That's why Sean was talking about Chopper Bicycles last night," Suzanne replied. Yes, Sean called last night while I was doing a little research. The bike is not as cool as I remember it. I did love one story about the how dangerous the bike was. It wasn't so much a bike as a toy.
I broke out my journal addendum, which goes all the way back and paged through 1972. It's a good thing I have this. While I read it I realize if I did have this material I would never remember it. I commented on Mike and Shari (Dement) Craik. I told Suzanne, "I really thought Mike and Shari where cool." I told her I was looking to give them a CD of Dement photos. Suzanne knew where to find Michelle. Later I looked up Mike Craik on Google and found he's working for JDP Electric.

When I got home I decided to rip up the carpet on the stairway. The carpet layers are coming on Wednesday (10/5). Tearing up the carpet is easy. It took much longer to pull all the staples out. I asked mom about the one babysitter Suzanne and I couldn't name. Mom couldn't think of it either. Later when my head was hurting I laid down for a few minutes. I came up with Roberta. Mom wasn't able to come up with a last name. (I did tell mom exactly where they lived.) Mom can't sleep at night. The next day she told me she came up with Roberta Rosco as she said sleepless in the middle of the night.
It was a beautiful day. I wanted to get one last read in on the swing outside before it got too cold out. I read for a couple hours.
I called Victor to ask where he was this morning. I also got his permission to bid on a G4 tower on Ebay. I thought it would go for cheap as it was missing memory and a hard drive. The price didn't move off of $65 until the last minute. My bid at $100 with less than 40 seconds set off a round of bidding that ended at $171- much higher than my max $112 final bid. I could see it would be $200 to get a G4 tower so I started thinking of using what he has. I started watching television, which set off the headache again. I put a tape in the VCR and went to bed.
Sunday I was able to pace myself. I made it through the day with little pain and only laying down a couple times for a few minutes.

October 1, 2005

End Of PD's

Since Monday's meeting (9/26) the relationship between Grant, Paul and Suzanne has deteriorated. Paul and Grant made counter offers. Suzanne dug in her heels; rightly so. The lawyers were talking about meeting in the middle. This makes me angry. If Suzanne makes a fair offer and Grant makes a ridiculous figure how do you meet in the middle? This might work if Suzanne were to come up with her own ridiculous figure.
Grant arrives Friday with his lawyer. Paul calls Suzanne with Grant's counter offer, Suzanne finds out Grant's lawyer is there and tells Paul to walk out. Instead Paul has the lawyer step out. I can't blame Grant for having his lawyer there. If I was a lawyer I would never let my client into a situation like this.
Paul stopped by Friday afternoon and said it was over. He outlined the deal, which I found odd. Paul and Suzanne had both seemed adamant about the how far they would go. This was much further.

Suzanne called Saturday while I was eatting my Wheaties. We talk about strategies for recovering some of what Paul gave away. She should never have let Paul meet Grant without his lawyer. My cereal had dissolved in the milk by the time I got back to it. Suzanne was still mad at Paul when I caught up with her at the soccer game that afternoon, but they had made up and they were civil.

Paul and Suzanne invited me to the Olive Garden Monday (10/3). I was happy she called because I wanted to take them out for lunch. Grant was calling Paul on the cell phone (one of the points of contention was Paul's enormous cell bill all of which were PD's calls. Suzanne was calm, either Suzanne decided to chalk the whole thing up to experience or their lawyer found some negotiating room. Paul had talked to PD's lawyer who couldn't do anything due to conflict of interest. He said he'd much rather deal with Paul than Grant. The lease with Gill downtown was now Grant's for good or bad. Good that any problems, which might (and probably would) pop up would be Grant's. Bad in that PD's had sub-leased the downtown location to Andrea and Steve (who they were originally going to partner with downtown. Andrea was the original chef at the HoDo.) Andrea is going to open a deli/lunch diner and do catering. Grant will be turning a profit on the sub-lease.

October 1, 2005

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October 01, 2005

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