Sunday, April 29, 2007

Another Productive And Fairly Warm Weekend

Well, you'd never known it Friday afternoon on the way home from work, it was cloudy, cool and quite foggy, But it turned out to be a pretty nice weekend weatherwise. Because of the less than warm weather Friday evening we pulled the plug on the plan to go up to the campsite for the weekend so when I finally drug myself out of the sack Saturday morning and found sunshine and warm air I decided to do pretty much what I did last weekend. Stay around the house and get things done on Saturday and head up to the campsite on Sunday.

So, after a trip to Home Depot to get things needed, I started in on finishing up a project I started last fall...the garage doors. This time around I wanted to get the locks and their assemblies all hooked up and working so I could actually lock the doors. This project went pretty much the way the doors themselves did.....the first one taking twice as long as the second one did due to reading and REreading instructions. I had some issues with the first door locking until I realized on about the 5th read thru that I had the cables flip-flopped as far as to which side of the door they were suppose to be attached to. Once that little detail came to light I was able to lock it up slick as could be and then started in on the second door. It was almost 5pm by the time I had that whole deal completed so then the next thing to accomplish was to load up the pickup with another load of wood to take up in the morning. By the time that was done I was ready to make some supper and with me being the only one around the house at that point I decided that a couple hot dogs was a fitting meal for an old man hanging out with dogs. Once dindin was a memory I decided to get the '56 out and take it out to Hoffa for a quick photo session and a ride around town. Bailey, of course, came along for the ride. We made a stop at Dairy Treat after a bit of cruising and shared some ice cream, something that neither one of us probably that makes a difference. By the time we got back home it was getting dark so I pulled the car into the now lockable garage and called it a day for all intents and purposes.

Sunday morning was blue and sunny so after a quick breakfast of eggs, sasauge and toast I tossed the stuff I was gonna need into the back of the truck, along with the project for the day up there....hooking up the little 4 cubic electric fridge that we got back last winter. The project was to dig a trench from the power board over to the Shed, where the fridge is gonna reside, lay down some 1 1/4" PCV pipe to route the extension cord thru and then bury it all back up again. So, I grabbed a couple dogs, Bailey and Mercury and we headed outa town and up North for the day. Not really feeling a 100% yet from the most recent bout of viral infection I had to take my time digging the trench so it ended up being an all day deal with breaks during the day to do other things too. I unloaded and stacked up the firewood I'd brought along. I also managed to rake up the entire "yard" area and lay down a couple bags of grass seed in an attempt to bring back the grassy meadow we had before the utility vehicles did a number on the area putting in the sewer, water and electric. Turned on a sprinkler I brought along and let that run all day while I continued to dig my trench. It was almost 7 before I had finished filling in the trench and raking everything smooth and level. At that point, not in a hurry to get home, I was gonna take a walk down the road aways with the dogs who'd been hanging out in the pen all day, being good, but about a 1/4 mile down the road all of a sudden it was thundering and starting to rain so we decided to turn around, load up the truck and call it a day.

It was dark by the time we got home (9:15) and I was pooped from all the fresh air and excercise. I made a quick supper that I was still eating when Wanda got back home and after eating I took a nice long, hot shower to soak the bones. By the time I got done with that everyone was pretty much headed for bed, except me of course......I made it up long enough to rattle this I'm heading for bed.

That's about it for the week too I guess....I was so busy at camp that I never even got around to taking any pics of what I did......hopefully next weekend will be nice and we'll actually get to go up and stay overnight. I'll take some shots next week for sure.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Finally, Some Springlike weather and Spring Cleaning

well, due to the fact that the muchkins were sick when they were here visiting I managed to get sick again this past week and ended up going to the doctor today for another round of breathing treatments and meds. I'm beginning to have my doubts about my lungs carrying me all the way to 100 so I may have to adjust the amount of things I'm gonna be able to acomplish before I run out of breath.

Anyhow, This past weekend was WARM! 70's on Saturday and right around 80 on Sunday. Unfortunately today it's more like April again and in the 60's but at least it ain't snowing. This past weekend, even sick, I managed to get some stuff done. I'd planned originally on going up to the campsite for the whole weekend but rethought that and decided a day just to open things back up and get organized would be a better idea before an actual overnighter.

But first, Friday night Ri joined us for dinner at Vic's while Adam was working and hung around the house after dinner until he got out of work. I was up late recording albums to CD so I could transfer them to the computer and then on to the Ipod. At this point I've reached the 3,000 tune mark but more importantly I've got 9 1/2 days worth of music on it.

Saturday I was up fairly early because Adam and Ri were back over. Adam was there to help me wrestle the "new" (new to us but not new) washer downstairs. Our old one after 20 odd years decided to spring leaks all over the place and while trying to figure out what to do about that Wanda managed to fanagle a free 6 year old, Maytag washer out of a guy at work! So, we unhooked the old one and drug it upstairs and out into the breezeway and then grabbed the newer one, which was about half as heavy, and took it down to the washroom and hooked it up. Once that was done I spent awhile catching my breath and then decided after they'd left that it was time to quit ignoring the problem and go clean up the garage. So, for the next 6 hours or so I swept, bagged junk and did a bit of organizing until it was clean enough to walk around in, in the dark, without breaking your neck. A big improvement. Now I just need to get my toolcart organized and the work bench cleaned off and I'll be satisfied.

About 4:30 Wanda took off with her sister for the evening so I sat down in the chair and closed my eyes for an hour. when they opened back up again I decided it was time to play a bit so I pushed the bike out of the garage and fired it up. I thought about going to Berlin for the races but unfortunately money is an issue right now so I settled for taking a ride out that way and back again. By the time I got back it was starting to get dark so I played some ball with the furkids and then came inside and made some supper. Late Saturday night was spent like Friday night, putting more music on the Ipod.

Sunday I didn't get as early as I'd planned so I got right with the program and drove the truck into the back yard and loaded it up with the firewood we'll never use here for the campsite. Chris and Bailey went with me and we got there just a bit past noon. Things were just starting to turn green there and it was warm enough to take off our shirts. We got busy hooking the water back up to the toilet and the camper, took off the plastic and cranked it up and proceeded to survey what a winter up there had done to our home away from home. It definitely needed an airing out so we unzipped all the windows and took out all the cushions and set them out in the sun to air out. I spent awhile wiping the condensation off the roof and did some general cleanup inside. I took down all the curtains to bring them home and wash them and set up the canopy and the screen house so that if the weather is decent next weekend we should be able to head up and spend the weekend without any major issues. I unloaded the truck and stacked all the wood in a nice neat stack. All In all things were ok....we had a bit of mouse damage but nothing too bad. By the time we got done with all that it was almost 6 so we decided to head for home. I let Chris get some driving practice in on the dirt roads until we got back to pavement then I took over and we headed for the highway.

That's pretty much it for this week.......more to come later.


Monday, April 16, 2007

A Weekend With A House Full Of People

Finally, something upbeat to write about....

I finished my first full week at the new gig Friday, got my first paycheck in a month, left there right at 5pm and headed for Applebee's to meet up with the wife, Ri and Adam and Jennette, Ryan, Jason and husband Eric. I walked in the restaurant, found my seat and then went and grabbed Ryan and started to reintroduce myself to the number one grandson. he didn't seem to have any problem sitting on my lap and coloring so that's what we did until the food arrived. After we were done dining we all headed for the homestead and spent the rest of the evening hanging out there. I played with Ryan until it was time for bed.

Saturday We had a house full. Along with the Polgar clan, Ri and Adam came down, my folks arrived about 10:30 and Tony and Gigi stopped by to see the munchkins too. After breakfast and before things got hectic me and Ryan went outside and took a walk up and down the street for awhile. We also spent some time out in the dogpen throwing the ball for them. Ryan thought that was great fun and sat on the bench, clapping his hands and belly laughing while the dogs played tug-o-war to see who'd get to bring it back so we could throw it again.

Jason and Ryan were pretty much the stars of the day and got passed around from person to person until it was time to eat. Me and Adam went over to KFC and got enough chow to feed everyone. The weather wasn't bad, but it was a bit too chilly to be grilling out hamburgers so KFC was the meal of choice. After eating we just hung out until About 4pm when the folks left for home and then about 4:30 Wanda, Jen and Eric all headed out for an evening of Bingo and left me and Ri to babysit for the evening. Ri did the bulk of the work although I tried to keep Ryan busy with walks and trips to the dogpen for more fetch. It was almost 9pm before he finally went off to bed. Everyone was back home from Bingo by 10 and by 11 the lights were out and the house was quiet.

Sunday I got up early again and made breakfast for everyone. Jennette wanted pancakes so I made a bunch for her, had some myself and made a batch of small ones for the dogs like I do most every week. After breakfast Jen packed up the kids and made a visit over to Grandma Fritchens for awhile. By the time they got back Ri and Adam had arrived and we spent the remainder of our time just hanging out and playing with the kids. Me, Jen, Eric and Ryan did go over to the Sweet shop for some Ice cream. I treated. About 3 it was time for Jen and Eric to pack up the kids and head back to Indiana. We all said our goodbyes and then they were gone. About 3:30 it was time for Wanda to head out to Bingo along with Adam and Ri who work there to help her out and earn a bit of spending money. And then all of a sudden the house was quiet and it was just me and my four legged buddies. I put on the race, closed my eyes and promptly fell asleep for a nice long 3 hour nap. It was a fast, busy two days and I guess it tired me out. Sucks getting old.

I guess that's kind of a reader's digest version of the weekend but no sense in writing a novel. I had a good time and it went by quickly........Brevity is a virture?
Besides, it's late and I'm fighting a cold. Time to call it a day after I stick a couple pics in here.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Well, it's been awhile. Longer than I planned on not having the energy or enthusiasm to write a bit. I was also a bit premature about the end of the dark days in my last post. Since the last entry life has taken a couple more turns down the bumpy road that I seem to find frequently.

First, lets just bitch about the weather. Here it is, April 11th and we're in the middle of a damn snowstorm. Again with the heavy wet white stuff. We did have almost a weeks worth of nice spring weather a couple weeks ago, but for the last week and a half or so the weather has been no different than it was in January. Cold, grey, windy and ugly. Check out that Intellicast pic there, yup, that's Michigan buried underneath all that crap ......we're right on the orange line between the green and the blue and about every 5 minutes what's coming out of the sky changes from snow, to ice, to rain and back around again. The only consolation right now is that it is April and NOT January. I don't think I could take another month or two of this. I'm ready for things to green up.

Last Sunday was Easter and me and Chris went up to the folks for some socializing and dinner. It sure didn't seem much like Easter with the temps in the 30's and snow everywhere. It was nice to go for a ride though, been awhile since I've been outside the city limits of Grand Haven.

This weekend coming up the house will be full. Jennette and her clan are making the trip from Kansas/Indiana to our place. They'll be here from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. Too damn short a visit to be able to spend much time with the grandkids, but I plan on doing as much quality interaction as I can in two days. Hopefully the weather will act a little bit like spring so we can get outside. There'll be a report and pics by the middle of next week on how that all went....stay tuned.

...and finally, that ole constant thorn in my side.......working for a living. This week I'm currently in the middle of my first full week at a new job. Yup, you heard right, another new job......turned out that there were some pretty scummy bastards at Nowak. As much as I'd like to rant about it, it's just not worth the effort really. Since Joe died in October the place had been sinking under bad / NO management like a rock. Half of the product they were trying to get out the door was in 3rd party containment by the first of the year. I actually started half-heartedly looking after the holidays just cuz I could see the writing on the walls. Unfortunately I didn't make it out before they decided that they didn't need two CMM guys with the way things were going so being last in I got to be first to leave. My last day there was March 7th. It was almost a relief to leave at that point because the atmosphere of the whole place was just very negative. The new quality manager they hired to save 'em back in December was the guy who got the honor of walking me out the door and two weeks later he'd had enough of their bullshit and walked himself out the door too. It wouldn't surprise me a bit that within 24 months I'll be able to add a postscript on my resume under the Nowak block that says, like so many before, this company is no longer in business. Good luck to the management on turning the place around and thanks for the memories.

That's all for now.