Our neighbor John who lived with his mother got married and he instantly got a family at the age of 40something, when her girls moved in. They needed a bigger house ("she has too much stuff" he says) so they moved. They are going to try renting the house out to his wife's friend and her family. I can't quite figure out how many people this involves - I was led to believe a woman and her two daughters, but there are a lot of people buzzing about (I mean that literally - chainsaws)...
At our old house when the neighbor lady got married, they subsequently cut down every single tree they could get their hands on. I think they wanted a place to sunbathe. Now our new neighbors appear to be having most of their trees cut down too. Why? I can see wanting a bigger yard or something, or in my friend Bob's case - making the yard more manageable and more kid friendly, but these folks are cutting down beautiful trees that were great for shade etc. I'm assuming John (owner of the house) knows about it... I can't quite see what's going on, maybe they are mostly just pruning etc...but there's an b-load of branches and wood coming out of there.
I'm a bit nervous about the new neighbors - she mentioned three times when I met her that if her daughters cause any problems to let her know...Sure I will, after I call the cops! :) We plan on living here the rest of our days (until retirement - if there is such a thing by then), but neighbors can really make a big difference in deciding things like that. Our other neighbors (the woman with 3 children) may move too - they are hardly ever there anymore - the little girl mentioned something about a "new step-dad"...
We went to the Beirut Restaurant with our friends Scott and Danielle last night. We hadn't seen them for a long time and we still owed them for taking care of our plants during the selling/buying process from our old house to our new. The restaurant is near our house and was recommended by Scott who really likes Lebanese food and I'd recommend it to anyone reading this. Scott heard about it through his boss and I don't know how she found out about it. We knew there was quite a few really good mexican choices around here (here's Jody's favorite fast food), but it's good to know there are other international choices nearby. Haven't found a good Thai place near us yet. :(
Anywho, we had a nice time. I was feeling a bit under the weather again (cold relapse or a new one?), but I wasn't about to cancel. A) we hadn't seen them for a long time as I've mentioned, and it can be difficult to connect schedules and B) Jody "never gets to go eat at a sit-down restaurant!" OMG!!! I made sure not to sneeze on them. PJ got a compliment from the waitress on being so well-behaved, even though for him he was being a little bit antsy.
Scott and Danielle are traveling to Florida for an actual vacation! Good for them!
Pretty cool, huh?
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The dishwasher and garbage disposal were installed, but the pipes weren't really ready for the extra load, so we had Roto-Rooter out to do their thing. I had tried to see what I could do on my own, but the snake didn't cut it and/or reach far enough. The pipes were due for a good scrubbing anyway.
Not having to do dishes really frees up some time in the evenings (and counter space - don't need to store dirty dishes on them).
PJ is really interested in helping with things around the house lately (I'm sure that won't last long), so we try to find ways to let him. Usually that means letting him close the cupboard doors or put some dishes away (the plastic ones) and a little dishwasher loading. We are working with him to clean up his toys every night. This was going to be a "general" note and now has morphed into a PJ Update! :)
In other "news", I have moved my political rantings to: Politico A Go Go I have set it up as a collaborative political blog with interested friends as contributors. So far I am the only one though and it may end up being my personal political soapbox...
Hope all is well with you faithful readers (all 2 of you?) :)
As you can see in this MN Daily Article, it seems there is a controversy brewing among the overeducated here at the Ol' U o' M. Personally I feel they should not use the apostrophe. I don't care if it may or may not be correct useage, it doesn't look right. But at least it gives people something to think debate over lattes and scones...
[Disclaimer - my opinions in no way reflect the Department I work for or the University as a whole.]
The house my brother Blake and soon-to-be wife, Kristen were looking at buying failed inspection. :( There are more fish in the sea, some that aren't so fishy...
The housing market out here is really tough for first-time buyers. Everyone send good luck vibes to them!
* Mountain Dew has announced that due to "overwhelming response" they will be making "Live Wire" a permanent member of the Mountain Family. For those not in the know, it's a pretty good orange sody-pop except with caffeine. And Dregs, I haven't heard if there will be a diet option.
* Dishwasher/Disposal delayed - install is now set for Valentine's Day. I'll have to get a big, red bow for it. Ok, so a dishwasher may not be romantic, but having one makes more time for romance...at least in theory.
* My friend's Lee and Faith have a blog about their experiences living in Egypt. They are teaching there for a year. Very interesting stuff!
* One of the best blogs I read is by my friend Stacie although this blog by Slip Whitsun is quite a trip. I have covered a few of his songs and last year we co-wrote a few. I am sort of his "Rick Rubin" I guess.
* As you may have noticed, I now know how to include links in my blog updates. Here is one of my all-time favorites: StrongBad!
I am not responsible for anything you may find offensive on these links. Read them at your own risk.
Thanks to Sears' generous financing offer we are moving up our purchase of a new dishwasher. Heck why not get a garbage disposal too? It's been really hard to keep up with the dishes (the new house didn't come with one) and PJ can now reach almost any dishes left on the counter...not a good thing...so keeping them out of little hand's way is a...good thing.
Ok, so this post was pretty lame. And I don't have enough time to spice it up.
Maybe I'll post about the first wash. Maybe pictures?
So we had a lot of snow over the weekend. Not really that much really, but for our recent years - quite a bit - 8" or so. It snowed all afternoon and evening last Friday and we heard the neighbor John start up his big ol' John Deere blower. I think he was very happy to get to use it; pretty soon he started up our sidewalk and even driveway! We have 2 cars but only a one-car garage (not complaining mind you) but he worked around it really well.
By Saturday morning there had been some drifts. I spent about a half hour digging the car out to get it into the street just in case John came by with his blower again - sure enough!
He has a dog named Mickey which is short for Michelobe...so I took that as an indicator and took him over a six pack. He invited me in for a beer and we had another nice conversation, but this time not over the fence. I tell you I have great neighbors!
The owner of IKEA is now the world's richest person - he just edged out Bill Gates:
Sunday April 4, 11:54 PM
IKEA founder overtakes Gates as world's richest - TV
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Ingvar Kamprad, the Swede who founded furniture retail chain IKEA, has overtaken Microsoft's Bill Gates as the world's richest man, Swedish TV news reported on Sunday.
Citing next week's edition of the Swedish business weekly Veckans Affarer, public service SVT2 television said Kamprad, 77, has a personal fortune of 400 billion crowns ($53 billion).
Gates's fortune is put at $47 billion, according to the latest list of the world's rich in U.S. Forbes magazine, SVT2 said.
Kamprad, known for frugal habits such as flying economy class, lives in Switzerland and no longer takes part in the daily running of IKEA, but has kept ownership of the company with more than 180 stores in over 30 countries in the family.
SVT2 said the dollar's slide against other currencies is the main reason why Kamprad has now overtaken Gates.
Ok, so I finally broke down and bought some more formal clothes - read business attire, which for me is rather formal. 2 pairs nice pants, 2 nice shirts, 2 jackets (!)...that sort of thing. I hate buying clothes. I was dreading going shopping - actually I was having a bit of an anxiety attack...shopping for clothes and pushy salespeople! I went into the Roseville Men's Warehouse with a combination of fear and dread and deep saddness; a yearning for a simpler age, a bygone day when men wore furs in the Winter and a loin cloth in the Summer.
At the door I was greeted by Daniel, an African-American with a nice smile and a bit of some sort of accent. His handshake was not too firm and he wasn't all, "So how much can you spend?!" and in your face. I said, "Are you patient?" He laughed a bit and I explained that I was basically starting from scratch and that I needed "business attire" friendly clothes - not for work, but other events coming up, etc.
He wanted to start with the jacket and go from there. Long story short, I picked out something sort of fun (not "Weird Al" fun - subtle) and he suggested I get a blue blazer also for more formal stuff.
Then we went to pants and shirt, ties, suspenders. He has a good eye for color and he was calm and not hard-pressure. He got me to spend more than I was going to - I was only shopping for one outfit, but he got me to get two - 2 base outfits that I can build off of and mix-and-match. One less formal and one more formal. Some items needed to be altered. One of the reasons I hate buying clothes is that it is really hard to find clothes that really fit me, but nothing a TAILOR can't fix I guess...a bit surreal for me.
Anyway, I would recommend him for you guys that need/want nicer clothes. Some of the other sales people I overheard with other customers were god-awful! - Just the kind I was afraid of getting. Got lucky this time. He is my "wardrobe consultant". That's surreal too.
Today while I was waiting for a grilled burger on the campus green, some guy with mirror glasses who appeared stoned or drunk (perhaps still drunk from the night before) ordered his meal. "I'll have the meal." The young woman behind the counter needed more info than that, since they had 8 different meals. "What kind of meat did you want on that?" There was a pause and he said "cheeseburger" like almost everyone else was. He paused again and had this weird smile, and I thought to myself, "Don't go there." He did. "Did you ask me what kind of meat I wanted?" with a bit of a chuckle. She knew her error immediately but I could tell she was also hoping he wouldn't go there. She feigned ignorance. "I was asking what kind of sandwhich you wanted." "Yeah, but you asked me what kind of meat I wanted." "Yeah," she said, then "Next." He looked a little dejected as he tried unsuccessfully to pick up a package of mustard, spilling the container. Perhaps he was hoping she would bend over to pick them up so he could check out her behind. No such luck for the guy, as everyone else quickly did the job as if to help him hurry on his way. I watched him for a bit as he ambled on his way to whatever project he was pretending to work on.
[Disclaimer - my opinions in no way reflect the Department I work for or the University as a whole.]
Getting even more of the house settled. We have a 50's sectional that we got at a garage sale with ottomans that have storage compartments. We are looking into re-upholstering them, maybe a job for wittyandsmart.com? This is helping all of us by having more places to actually sit! My brother Brett and I got the large couch with two recliner sides and the big ol' recliner into the basement, but I am not at liberty to say how at this moment. More places to relax.
Started work on my office/studio space this weekend. Cut a hunk off the carpet that was in the living room and put that in there to help with the acoustics (the floor was tile). Will use the closet door as a desk I think. I will probably put adjustable shelving in there for now along with all the other shelving I am making/puting in. Isn't this interesting?
We almost have the kitchen up and running and we spent all day Sunday on PJ's room - it is the first room that is "done". Have a couple of pieces of furniture to paint and bring into the room and then we will be looking for little decorative touches here and there, but it's liveable now and he seems to really like it!
10 burly men, 4 hard working gals, 3 trucks, 2 trailers, 4 pizzas and dozens of beers - but we're moved! Thanks to all who helped. We were able to do it all in one trip which helped a lot. Whew! What an incredible group of folks. It was almost like a barn raising.
2 closings and 1 move tomorrow - and a whole bunch of other stuff too! Luckily, Jody is very organized and I am trained as a "coordinator". It also helps of course that we have assembled an all-star team!
The move to West St. Paul (WaSP) is quickly approaching! We have almost everything packed to the bare minimum. PJ's toybox is now a storage bin so we can just put the lid on it and take it over. The move planning is going well and we have a good crew. Dave C. is brining a big az trailer and I rented a truck for the day too so hopefully we will only take one trip. Wish us luck!