Sunday, December 11, 2005
I had planned on filling up my gas tank in Saginaw since I had thought the gas would be cheaper than in West Branch but it was $2.35 a gallon, so I waited. We drove to Bay City and I saw a couple of places at $2.16 and then a few at $2.14 so I incorrectly assumed that in town would be cheaper when we got to Big Lots the gas station there (for the Kroger's that is also in the strip mall) was changing their sign to $2.35 so I drove back a couple of miles and filled up at $2.14. I'm hoping it will be cheaper by Mom's, so I am going to wait to fill up again until I get down there.
From that point forward we shopped until we dropped, and then got up and did some more. We found one thing for Megan that is going to have her completely nutty on Christmas morning, I have told her this and it is driving her crazy. And as soon as I finish this I am going to get some wrapping done while she is at a cookie booth. (poor baby it is freezing out) But I am so done with shopping, got some major wrapping to do. But I enjoy that part. Now I just have to wait for the stuff I ordered on line and shipped to Melody on accident. Oh, well everything can not go smoothly or I get confused.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Work is extremely busy, but I like that. I am guessing that it will slow down some after the new year, after I have had a chance to fix all of the old stuff and only have to keep up with the everyday stuff.
Thanksgiving was tons of fun, even the driving in the snow. I can't imagine doing that with any other group of people without tempers rising and fingers pointing, and everyone being completely miserable. The casino's were the icing on a very fine cake. Yes, we enjoy our casinos, but we can have just as much fun just about anywhere.
Plans are progressing for Christmas, I have some vacation time that I have to take or I lose (like that is ever a viable option.) So I am taking off the last two days of the year, that Monday (the 26th) is our Christmas holiday so I can bring the family down to help with the physical moving of Mommy (and me) into the new house and then we can come back to West Branch Wednesday night so Gordon can go back to work.
I have no idea of what is going on with this band thing and Megan, talking to her gets no further information than what is in her blog, so I guess I will have to wait t0 hear from the dreaded band teacher.
What happened to the time/date stamp on the bottom of where we edit the posts, I used to be able to change that?
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Boy how the time does fly. As you can tell from the picture it is that time of year again. Gordon started on November 1st, and everything was up and done when I came home on Friday. I love these decorations. Today was our Thanksgiving, as we are going to support the Indian side of the holiday on Thursday by leaving money at the casinos, we did the pilgrim thing today with ham instead of turkey. Why ham, when we have a perfectly good turkey in the freezer? Because I like ham leftovers better for the casino. The snacks are a crucial ingrediant in successful casino trips. We are so ready.
All is well on the job front. I am officially employed with bennies and a nice raise. I will send everyone an email from my work address so you will have it. I can get email I just can't go to any links sent for the internet. I have negotiated flex hours and instead of 8:30 to 5:30 M-F I work until 6:30 M-TH giving me 4 hours extra so I can come in two hours late on Monday and leave 2 hours early on Friday. There is no shortage of stuff to do so that is nice. When I think about trying to have done this at the construction company the thought of having to sit there until 6:30 makes me want to cry. My plan is too clean up everything with the two offices I have now and learn everything there is to know about Ohio government programs, and then switch to new offices and learn everything there.
There's nothing else new here, there was snow on the ground when I got here on Friday but it is gone now. The Lions were very disappointing today, but the Colts-Bengals game was a great game to watch. If KC wins tonight Gordon is guaranteed either first or second in the football pool, that would make 6 wins in 11 weeks. He's on a streak, good thing we're going to a casino!
More in a week or so.....
Monday, October 31, 2005
All in all I am pretty happy with it, but it has only been a weekend.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
If a name is all it takes then this kid will be president someday. I'm sure he's have more going for him in that direction as time goes on, but for right now he has a lot of other stuff going for him. He is exactly the right size and weight for my arms. Holding him is an absolute delight. He hasn't opened his eyes all the way for me yet, but he hasn't cried or even wimpered either.
He helped me cook and even put the football scores into the computer (another card win for Gordon first if Pittsburgh wins on Monday second if they lose - this will be his fourth win this year 2 firsts and 1 second already. Second place gets a free play the following week ($5 value), first place gets the rest.) But dinner is done and I need to eat.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
This morning after the laundrymat and the library we went to Wal-Mart and bought a USB wireless adapter. I was able to load the software that came with it and plug it in getting the computer to recognize it, however it did not recognize mycomputer. Back to tech support. I gave him my case number and he read all the notes, I explained that I had a USB connector and that the computer was recognizing it but I needed to tell it how to find the boxy thingy that they had sent me. He explained that since I had chose to go with a third party connector he might not be able to help me. Totally out of patience I explained that I hoped the call was being monitored and this not being my first, second, or third call to their technical support I was fully aware that the chances of him being able to help me were slim and none, that SBC had given me little option but to go with a third party vendor, and that he had better listen to what I was telling him since I understood the concepts but needed to know the particulars of where everything went. I explained that I was able to get into the software to where the profile needed to be loaded but that I did not know what information to put in where. Walking through it with him led absolutely no where. He kept saying "where it says WEP put in your serial number" It doesn't say WEP. Finally, he gave me the codes that I would need to call Belkin (the third party vendor) and hopefully they would be able to help me. And they were, it took a while, I was on hold for about 40 minutes waiting for the next available operator, finally I decided to take the phone into the office and play poker while I waited, sure enough that brought about the next available operator. Within minutes, I professed my undying love, and Megan's computer was on line on DSL.
My email is changing from email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org. Voyager is still active until 11/17 when my contract is up. But I signed up for something called trueswitch which is supposed to notify all of you and forward mail for up to thirty days.
That's all the news that's fit to print.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
On the job front although they have told me that I would become a full time employee with benefits as of 11/10 they have not told me what those said benefits are. I did find out through talking with others that the day after Thanksgiving is not a holiday (and to think I listed that as my favorite day.) So I asked my manager and she told me that she would get HR to give me the packet explaining the benefits. When this did not happen I asked again. She then told me that HR had informed her that I would get this once I was an official employee. I told her that this was not okay, that it would be foolish to commit to an offer without knowing what the offer was. She went back to HR and was again told no. I then sweetened the pot by saying that I was expecting a job offer from a company that I had temped for last year within the next week, and that if I did not know what Arcadia had to offer I might have to assume the other offer was better. This brought about a flurry of activity, including me being called into the HR office. Where I was told that it was common practice to not divulge benefit information until after an employee had been hired. I explained that it was common practice for me to discuss this information in the interview, as it is a key component of compensation. HR would not budge stating that they could not treat me any differently than any other potential employee. I agreed that I did not expect preferential treatment but I would have to take that into consideration. My manager then called me into the office of the director of our department where the director gave me her benefit package explaining the different options available and the costs for each. She then told me that I would recieve 2 floating holidays that needed to be used by the end of the year and would have accrued just over 20 vacation hours based on the 90 days I will have worked prior to becoming an official employee (although I am not official until 11/10, my hire date will be 8/12.) She also told me that I would receive a $2/hour raise and should the offer from the other (phantom) company be more than that to let her know and she would see what she could do. Wow, this is alot like playing poker, I have the nuts and I want to get called, if I raise too little I won't get the best payout, if I raise too much I might not get called. Not sure yet how to play it.
I posted the "answers" to last week's post. This week the game is encore. As I am driving I often hear a word in a song that gets me to thinking what other songs have that word in it. This week I did a lot on "bottle" what can you guys come up with? Bonus points if you come up with the song that inspired this train of thought.
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Saturday, October 15, 2005
I WANT TO BE AN ENVIRONMENTALIST WHEN I GROW UP. Well not as soon as I grow up I'll wait until after I've already taken everything I want. Again flipping channels, I caught a city council show from Westland, someone is asking to reopen Nankin Tavern and build two additional restaurants on the property (a pizza shop and an unnamed fast food drive through.) This is the corner of Hines and Ann Arbor Trail. Many residents of the area were there to complain stating how that area is full of nature and one of the main reasons they chose to build their homes there was because of all the nature in the area. These homes have not been there since the beginning of time and most of them have gone up in the last few years. One guy actually said that he was a devout environmentalist and chose to build his home there last year because of all of the trees and animals in the area, and how the proposed development of the area would destroy such. Of course the development of his property was necessary and of no consequence to nature. If this doesn't go through I am officially boycotting nature.
OVER THE RIVER THE MIGHTY RIVER. Crossing the Zilwuakee bridge last night I wrote down all of the songs I heard on the radio for a trivia game for you guys. How can I write and drive you ask? Don't worry I did put my book down while I wrote down the songs. As you can see from the impressive list I was on the bridge for a loooong time. Apparently there was an overturned semi, however all I know was we went no where and then we did. There was a AAA report on while I was waiting but instead of traffic it gave an update on the leaves changing (the UP is at 75%, northern lower at 50% with peak to hit in two weeks in case you're interested.) So here is a random line from a song, what song is it? Answers will be posted in comments later in the week. Keep in mind I was listening to the "Great songs of yesteryear" station and flipping with "70's, 80's, 90's, whatever we want" station.
1. Roll me in designer sheets
2. Not much, how 'bout you
3. You know that's a game I hate to lose
4. Although I lose a friend, in the end you'll know
5. The beauty is there but the beast is in her heart
6. Just let it go, don't be afraid to lose control
7. You know it's just your foolish pride
8. Now you don't care a thing about me You're just using me
9. That kind of love is mythical She's anything but typical
10.But I'll be lonely without you
11. I only smile when I lie, then I tell them why
12. Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight
13. They keep their boyfriends warm at night
14. Playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.
15. Hoping you'll seeWhat your love means to me
16. You and me been finding each other for so long
17. When the skies of November turn gloomy
18. Well, we're scared, but we ain't shakin'
19. And talk is cheap when the story is good
20. young and sweet, only seventeen
21. Take my arms that I might reach you
22. You ain't seen the best of me yet
WE WOULD HAVE PUT IT IN THE FINE PRINT IF YOU KNEW YOU READ IT. My internet service is expiring in November and I received an email that they would be charging my credit card for another year of service if I did not respond that I know longer wanted it. I thought this would be a good time to explore other options. Fortutiously I received a brochure from SBC detailing their plans for bundling services. Phone, mobile phone (through Cingular), tv service (through Dish Network), and internet (through Yahoo DSL). I currently have SBC for phone, Dish for tv, and have thought many times about changing my cell phone. So I had Gordon make the preliminary call to check out all of this. Yes, DSL does not use a separate phone line so I can discontinue paying for a second line. Yes, I can connect more than one computer - even at the same time. No, I cannot bundle my Dish with it since I am a loyal customer and not a new customer. You have to call a different number to sign up for Cingular. By this time he had worked out for the customer service rep to call me on Saturday. So she did and I worked through what I needed to understand and everything was good. They were sending out the software and equipment I needed to set everything up, we scheduled the shut off of my additional phone line......and then the stopper. "I see you do not have SBC as your long distance carrier" "No, I do not have a long distance carrier, I use my cell for all long distance calls" "Well, as a requirement for the DSL service you must use SBC as your long distance carrier, this way you will have the ability to make long distance calls from your phone at a charge of ten cents per minute" "Is there any monthly charge?" "Just two dollars per month" reading as I am talking "so, what you're saying is the DSL will cost me $16.95/month instead of $14.95" still considerably cheaper than internet service and an additional phone line, "no, the DSL is $14.95, the long distance is $2.00" "come on, you've seemed intelligent don't go stupid on me" "well, I guess you could look at it that way, but it is still considerably cheaper than even just the additional phone line" "Yes, it is but I really hate this kind of thing thrown in at the end, I'm looking at your brochure and I do see on the bottom where it says I have to have SBC local service, but it does not mention anything about long distance service" "well, ma'am since you have a brochure and it does not mention it, I'll just go ahead and waive this long distance service." So it looks like it is going to happen, the new service starts on the 25th, I don't have an email address yet but I will let you know when I do. The old service (voyager) is still there until the 17th.
The time stamp on this post is 12:27 and the clock on my computer reads 2:48, so I guess I have spent enough time on this. I'll talk to you all soon.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Sunday, October 09, 2005
In other interesting news Patti (the office manager for the construction company I was working at until she hired someone with a little more knowledge than I) called me last week to offer me a job. Turns out she has been through 4 people (one of which was her daughter) since I left at the end of July. It was with great pleasure that I could tell her I had found a position that I am challenged at. Of course I first asked what they were offering and it was as I thought no medical benefits at all. I do miss wearing jeans and the drives around town but I really enjoy what I am doing now. The team I work with is improving as the two girls I least liked (one I could not stand, and one that was tolerable) are gone and I have moved to a much better desk position.
Since I have the boys here today we are celebrating Melody's birthday, it would be better if she was here too. But sometimes you just have to make do with what you have.
Friday, September 30, 2005
Once the CD ends, I start scanning the radio I stop at a station playing Kiss' Beth. What a great song, and the great songs just keep coming...just like Bogie and Bacall...sundown you better take care....cracklin' rosie get on board....if you like pina coladas....hello darkness my old friend...I love you just the way you are...we're going hoppin' (hop)...born and raised in South Detroit...nothing but a heartache. Good solid music almost all the way home. Then they break for commercial and station identification. "You're listening to the Bay, great songs from yesteryear" What, isn't that just another way of saying "Oldies", Oldies are Beatles, Motown, Petula Clark for christ sake. What do they know about Oldies, oh well I programed their station in anyways even if they don't know classic from old.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
In other, even better, news I have been offered a full time permanent position with Arcadia. My boss (Eman) has been making noises about hiring me, comments here and there but nothing definite. I had an appointment with Blue Cross on Thursday to test for an Administrative position that required me to take a long lunch. So I went in to talk to Eman and told her that I had an interview, and she said please no don't go. She explained that she wanted to hire me but that because I was a temp she had to wait 90 days (the usual period is 120 days but she had already talked them down to 90). She asked me not to go on the interview and said that she would go talk to HR about reducing the 90 days. Later that afternoon she brought me in with HR who explained that they had to stay with 90 days since I came from an Arcadia affiliate and they did not want the affiliate to lose their commission on me since that may discourage them from sending future temps. However, I will not have to wait 90 days from my actual hire date for benefits to kick in they will kick in immediately. So that means I will get paid for Thanksgiving!! A paid holiday, forgot what that felt like. I really like the work, it is complex and constant. I'm really happy about it.
That's about it, and it's past my Sunday night bedtime.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Not much else is going on. I am giving a talk for Nar-Anon in early October that I need to start working on soon. Megan is back in school. Gordon is working long weeks but that will cut back some after Labor Day. The kids are great, Josh is counting now he's real good up to five and Megan started doing up to ten with him this weekend.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Megan gets home tonight from her Mall of America trip so look for a blog from her in the next couple of days.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Not a whole lot more is going on, Megan leaves on Sunday for Mall of America so she is pretty darn excited. Sabrina's birthday party was on Sunday, contrary to all of the advice given she went ahead and turned 8. I forgot the camera for the party but it was a lot like the last one so just go look at those and imagine everyone young a little taller, and everyone old a little fatter.
Nothing going on on the job front, there hasn't even been anything good in the papers. Gordon is putting in lots of hours though, so that helps alot. He and Bob got the tree all cut up and out front of the house for pickup. I was a little nervous when it was not picked up last week, but apparently since there was so much it took the city a few days to get to everybody and they did pick it up yesterday.
When I was loading the movies the last one didn't load and I got this:
the following error occurred while uploading file - file not uploaded:
unexpected error occurred
such helpful information, I would assume that if it was expected it would not have been an error.
I've been playing poker on line, not for real money. I'm not bad, except when I suck. I entered a tournament yesterday there were 1586 players in the tournament and I finished 1584. My table must have played slow because I went out on the first hand. I had AK and flopped AK-, went all in and the person who called me got a flush on the river, oh well. I wasn't expecting a call on an all in on the first hand, I mean what dummy risks the tournament on the first hand! I so felt like Phil Helmuth, "you called me with that, what kind of idiot are you!" They are still having preliminary tournaments though and if I win I get to go play in Aruba on the WPT. I would say that I'm not giving up my day job, but I don't have one.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
In other news there is a lot to do around here, on Monday as Megan told everyone we lost part of a tree in the backyard that needs to be cleaned up. The only time Gordon had to do it this week was Thursday evening during which we had another major storm that took down more trees all over town. Our neighbor's house (as you look at the front of the house to the right) lost a tree in the front on Monday that fell on both of their cars and made the papers. The other side of main (Houghton) street lost power both Monday and Thursday for several hours. We didn't thank goodness or Megan would have been a wreck.
We have been going to the beach whenever we could on the weekends. Beach is really a relative term. Some of my relatives might consider this a boat launch since that is what the sign reads, but most of the kids I take can't read and think it is a beach. There is no sand. Just a grassy slope followed by large rocks and then water with a very rocky bottom until the bottom becomes mush. But it is not crowded and close enough to home to go for a couple of hours, I don't feel like I have to make a day out of it. I bring a lawn chair, cooler with soda, and book for me. Since it is a boat launch area we get a lot of boats going by usually pulling a tube or skier so they're going fast enough to cause some motion in the water. Just enough wave for the little ones, each time though the world-weary traveler Megan must explain to them what real waves are. Since I have all of the kids today and not enough room in the car I don't think we are going to make it there today. Tomorrow is laundry, and hopefully Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, then maybe my meeting in Saginaw that I haven't made it to in 5 months since I had to drive down state on Monday mornings.
The H.O.G rally was last weekend (did you know, and you probably didn't since I didn't and I live here, thank goodness I had Patti's knowledge to inform me, that West Branch has only had a H.O.G. rally for 5 years, I'm not sure where her knowledge comes from but I think she was on a Harley once, but all these years I've been living here and thought there was a motorcycle parade down main street I must have been mistaken and it was listed in the paper as the 22nd annual but they probably didn't check with Patti first, rookie mistake) the Clydesdale horses were in the neighborhood for the All Star Game in Detroit so they made it north for the Rally. What a great mix Budweiser and Harleys. The horses were awesome, the parade of motorcycles great, and the economic boost to the city incredible.
Melody has been requesting a picture of Heather's belly so here it is. She is due October 24th, the baby in keeping with the preferred pose it's generation crossed it's legs for the ultrasound so we have no gender knowledge, Heather feels pretty certain it is a boy, so that may be a sure sign that it's a girl, but it's a 50-50 shot. I try really, really hard not to try to understand how she is going to be able to take care of another kid, but to put myself in the frame of mind that it is not my problem all I can and should do is love her and the baby. But OMG that is hard. Sabrina turns 8 tomorrow, she is so tall and skinny. And smart, not necessarily school smart although she is starting to get some of that stuff, but turn your words around on you smart. She was on some type of "calm your kid down" drug but her hair started falling out so Heather took her off and she is going back to the doctor's this week. Bryan and Sean are doing great, although I hear all kinds of commotion out in the living room right now, they spend the first half of their week with their dad (another baby is expected in that household also) and then Robin has them the last half including the weekends. Her household now includes Josh pretty much full time as his mother has decided that she is too young (19) to be burdened with 2 kids, she has given Jeremy Josh and her mother has her other baby. I am so glad to be just a spectator in this.
I just got good news, my mail came and with it a letter from the State Department of Treasury saying that they had changed my tax return due to an error on my part. My state refund was only $12 and I didn't remember getting it, but that was a long time ago. So I double checked my bank stuff and there wasn't a deposit. Now of course, the letter does not say if I've landed on Luxury Tax or if an error was made in my favor so as I was calling the 800 # listed for explanations I panicked slightly that since I was only getting a $12 refund if I owed them money chances are good it was more than $12 and I would not only have to come up with money for them but whatever interest they wanted to charge. Communicating with the 800 # was difficult, they now have the option to say or press a number which means they pick up all background noises and just keep repeating "I'm sorry I did not understand what you said" - I didn't say anything, I hadn't even heard the options yet. So I yell at the kids to be quiet and call back desperately digging through my filing box (definitely something else to work on while I am home) for my return. Finally getting through and putting in my social and adjusted gross income, the error was in my favor and my refund of $300 was deposited in my bank account yesterday (although it is not showing up online) of course they don't tell me what I missed so that I don't miss it next year but it is good to know that they are checking for me.
Things I found interesting over the past few weeks:
The Amber Alert for the 7 year old boy from Ingham County has been cancelled as it is presumed that he ran away - WHAT? (This was heard on an Monday going down and that Friday going back was reissued as he had been seen in Genesee county. Ingham county is Mt. Pleasant, Genesee is Flint. Over a week later I heard the father on the radio pleading for info on his son as the Amber Alert had again been cancelled, the boy apparently had "run away" before for approximately an hour and was found in the tree in their back yard. But having a "record" of running away...)
Product Safety Notices have contributed to the dumbing down of society. The idiot that previously would have expired while blow drying his hair in the shower is now warned of such danger and as such allowed to procreate.
Department of Redundancy Department - T-Shirt Kaysar was wearing in BB6 (don't get me started on that show - all I would like to say is Good bye to Eric - what an arrogant jerk).
All right I think I'll go ahead and post this now. If I can find the ticker place maybe I'll update that too.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
I know it's been ages since I blogged, but let's just admit it my life is pretty darn boring, and if there is anything going on then I don't have time to blog. I keep going in to work every day, it's still as boring as ever with the added pleasure of the Office Manager's niece in for the summer, so now there are two of us with nothing to do. We had a very full weekend, Jackson was incredible, the drive in awesome, and then a very loud very stimulating one year old's birthday party. I've never seen such a young (small just doesn't fit the bill here) child eat so much. The party was at a county park so Megan and her friend went swimming in the lake. Most of Gordon's family was there and it was nice to see all of them. There were multi generations of Spicers, I could pretty much recognize the those of Keith's generation but after that I was lost.
We went to the firewoks in Houghton Lake last night. Every one has always told me what a great show Houghton Lake has, but I wasn't impressed much. It was a nice show, somewhere between the drive in displays we saw as children and the Lupton fireworks in January after the snowmobile show. Just about as cold as the the Lupton show though, I guess I'm not meant to understand why it is so cold in Mid-Michigan for the fireworks. After a June of record breaking hot temperatures we have a weekend with dusk temperatures in the low fifties. We parked at a motel, conveniently there was a basketball net and Bryan had brought his baseketball. Here is a video of the next Manu Genobili. Tonight we will brave the West Branch fireworks, and with any luck I will remember to bring blankets and mosquito spray.
Since everyone else has a ticker I thought I would add one, but don't hold me to it. Oh yeah more pictures available on yahoo.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Bryan and Jackson Play Catch
After Dinner 1
After Dinner 2
After dinner was a 20 minute movie mostly of Jackson going back and forth from the game room at the restaurant to the dining area, I tried to capture the highlights.
Megan also had her final band concert for this year. This is the final song, with a lot of percussion, I cut out the parts with no percussion but you can hardly tell that there is anything missing.
Not much else is going on, I got home on Friday in time to catch the end of Bry's T-Ball game, he made a very solid hit, not just knocking it off the tee but hitting it into the outfield. They want him to advance to pitching machine next year even though he'll only be seven and they usually start that at 8, Robin is a little nervous though about his ability to get out of the way of the ball if it is coming at him. I'm sure they'll cross that bridge next year just fine. In the mean while Robin picked up his league pictures and he looks so big.
The job is still a pain, with no end in sight. So I'll just keep going back as long as they'll have me. The estimator told me the other day that he's been there since August of last year and I've lasted in my position longer than anyone else. Doesn't completely surprise me, although I know two of the people that preceded me in the last year were related to the Office Manager.
School is out this week and it is getting hot here. Mommy is in Florida, so there is no one to talk to at night. TV is in reruns, although I did like the new Beauty and the Geek. I haven't read anything really interesting lately. The most interesting place I've been is Fowlerville. I did find lamps that I liked for the bedroom although they were black and not green, but I trimmed the shades with green trimming and they look great. Nothing else exciting or interesting.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
The job is still a job. I have never been wrong so many times in one day as I am at this job. It just doesn’t matter what I do, but I am learning to accept that and taking pleasure in doing things at least twice. I am becoming quite adept at single tasking, and have completed counting the spots on the wall behind the fax machine as I stand there and wait for a fax to go through so I can print out a report sheet. I am beginning to appreciate the look of everything typed in all caps in the comic font, and hey, maybe that does look professional to someone.
But the job does have its perks, I dress in jeans, and I get to leave a lot to drop off and pick up bid materials. A few weeks ago my travels took me past Grandpa Beauregard’s old house on Vine. I had to drop off a bid at the school right on Vine just down the street from Grandpa’s house. The house looks exactly the same, in fact they all do and I am not absolutely positive I was looking at the right house. A few years ago I had the opportunity to go by Grandma Van Houten’s house off Grandriver and it looked smaller to me. I also drove past where their trailer was the other day, but I was not even sure if it was the right park much less go in and try and pick out the trailer. However my trips out that way also took me down Maceday Lake. Believe me I did not realize for a minute that I was even in the right area and if Mapquest had not put me on Maceday Lake Road I would have never found it. Even then, at first it meant nothing until I was reading it out loud and had to pronounce it. I always spelled it Massaday – as in one Mass A Day, and it always made sense to me since we went on Sunday’s after Mass. Even once I figured out it was the same place, I thought why would Mapquest even know about that little street. But Maceday Lake has certainly grown. It is now fully developed with very large, very expensive homes. My first trip through I did not see the beach area and mourned the loss. However when I talked to Mom about it after I got home she told me that the beach was not right on Maceday Lake Road but off Maiden. I had the chance to return the plans I had picked up the first time and this time took a detour down Maiden with my camera. The area was completely fenced and locked with no trespassing and video surveillance signs. I managed to take a few pictures, the rest are on Yahoo. I couldn’t see the beach itself since it is (at least it used to be) down the hill behind the restrooms, which I do believe have been updated, I seem to remember a blue stucco building. The playground equipment has been updated the merry go round wasn’t there, but it does look like the very same volleyball net.
And then Melody and Mike were here, they brought Mom, Erika, and Jackson with them and we had a very fun, very busy weekend. Heather had a surprise baby shower on Sunday click here for a video, and then we had lots of really great pool time as we were the only ones there. I have reduced the hour or so of video to these three – Megan and Jackson, Practice Practice Practice, and All Swim. Mike seems like a really nice guy, we’re a tough, loud bunch of people, but he opened up first with the kids (always the key to my heart) and even managed to carry an adult conversation or two. He has family in Michigan that he had never met before down in Sterling Heights so Robin and Jeremy took him and Melody down there on Monday to have dinner with his family. We went to see Dustin on the second Sunday they were here, and then I took them down to Detroit on Monday, we had dinner with Steph at Steak n Shake and then Steph took them to the airport for the trip home. I guess there were a few problems with their flight but I’m sure she will be updating her blog soon with any details that we need to know.
And then you know it’s spring when t-ball practice is called on account of the cold. But Bryan had his first game while Melody was here and she acted as my official photographer since I had to miss the game for the always fun trip to the Laundromat. Click here for the video.
Well, my videos are done, and now I have to upload pictures while I cook dinner, for a project I started at noon I should have this up and ready by 6. I’m sure there are other things that through the past two weeks I have thought “I’m going to have to remember to put that in my blog,” unfortunately I seldom do what I have to.
Friday, May 13, 2005
And it does. The how above takes you to a video of Bryan and Sean on the Merry-Go-Round at Steph's picnic. Click here to see the kids on the slide. I can't get it to be a picture but I'm sure Erika will let me know how. I have tons of video from the pool, I just need to go through it and type up what's been going on the last couple of weeks.
Friday, April 29, 2005
This week went well. Work was slow, I practiced closing a program down and going into my computer to open a new file everytime I needed to do something. They actually have a file called New Word Document saved to open a blank document. Things got a bit hectic Tuesday morning as we had 6 bids due. I had typed up all of the regular stuff and was just waiting for the numbers to put on them. Pat was getting confused because I had everything ready, a completely non-normal state, she would say, "you have to..." and I would say, "I already have" this would provoke the "you can't fill that in ahead of time" I so wanted to say, "Why did the company change it's name or phone number last night?" But everything got out on time. The two public bids we did not get, and the other four were private and we don't have the results yet. One was for the new IKEA being built in Canton, the estimator kept pronouncing it ickea and Pat corrected him saying it was I K E A (as in FBI), as far as I know it will be the first IKEA in Michigan.
Megan got a certificate for being something, but I'll let her tell you about that on her blog. We are heading down to Mommy's in the morning for the picnic, the forecast went from rain all day to rain in the am, so hopefully we will have decent weather.
Sunday, April 24, 2005
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Okay, I do have other things to do today!
Me: The network seems to be running slow, it's taking quite a while to open a document.
Pat (office manager): (looking over my shoulder) where are you, that screen doesn't look right.
I went to file 'open'
Did you go to MCCDOCS?
Yes, once I went to open I browsed to MCCDOCS
Oh you can't do that on this network
Huh? That's how you do it
No, you have to go into MCCDOCS and open it from there
I don't understand.
There's a link on your desktop (I click on 'show desktop) No you have to close your window to get there
(Start closing windows)
Why do you have all those windows open?
I've been working in different programs
No, you have to close them, you can only have one open at a time.
(All windows safely closed with desktop appearing (meanwhile document I was waiting for had opened and is now closed) click on My Computer, browse to MCCDOCS folder find needed document, wait) The network seems to be running slow.
There may be a problem right now, but you have to open documents from here.
But I've been opening them from within the program.
No, you can't do that on this network.
When I first started she showed me how to answer the phones, call an extension if it was for one of the two estimators, once I tell them who is on the phone I do nothing and they pick up the line on hold. Well that resulted in people actually getting their phone calls, so it was changed to I answer the phone, put the caller on hold, tell her who is calling and who they think they want to talk to and then she decides who they get to talk to (usually her), she then goes to the person who the call was for and asks them whatever the caller wanted and then calls the person back with the new questions from the intended receiver (usally Kevin the cool estimator, rumored to have a drinking problem and be incapable of working, the only evidence of incapability on his part that I have seen is that the office manager is still able to walk). This week I was told that since I don't really know enough about what is going on she'll just answer the phone from now on. Whatever
Second week I was there:
Why don't you update the list of plans in the back room
There are four bins of plans A-E, F-L, M-R, S-Z with a listing above on four sheets of paper with the same breakdown. I pull out all the plans and check off what is on the list and write in what is not. Now ready to enter them into the computer to print the list and Pat comes out to show me where the document is. MCCDOS-Misc lists no not there, MCCDOCS-back room nope not there either, MCCDOCS-Masters hum where could it be.
Do you know what it is called, I can do a search?
You have to know where it is to do a search
Ten minutes later, during which great restraint was practiced not to grab the mouse from her hand. We had the file, more correctly files. Four word documents one for A-E, etc.
Why don't I just put this in excel so we can....
No, it needs to be in word.
Well, I can put it all in one document and then set page breaks...
No they need to be separate documents.
Since we dispose of them when the bid has expired - should I put the bid date on the form?
No We don't need that
I update the sheets, I do sneak in tables to eliminate all the tabs in the middle and to sort alphabetically once I have put them all in, but this is invisible on the printed document.
We need to start going through the plans in the back room and get rid of the ones we don't need anymore, you need to go through and get the bid dates for each set of plans. I don't know why she (the person I am temping for) didn't put that on there to start with (yeah, I wonder too, what could she have been thinking, "whatever"?) You need to call who we made the bid to and see what the status is.
So I get the bid dates and start pulling the actual proposals so I know who we made the bid to.
Why are you going through the proposals?
So I can see who we made the bid to and call them to get the status.
Well, you need to do that for every proposal not just the ones that have plans in the back room.
What do you do with the old proposals?
We scan the take off (I know what that is) and then shred the rest.
Do you put the results on Bid Results spreadsheet?
No, why would we do that (why indeed, what was I thinking), just make a note in the proposal log if we got the job or not.
So some of these we may have gotten the job, and I am calling looking totally stupid.
I'll put them in order by construction manager so I'm not calling the same company a dozen times.
It could be different project managers anyway, so don't waste the time.
Yes, yes, no wasted time here.
So I start making phone calls, mostly leaving messages, but some are so old that I'm pretty sure either the job is done or will never be done, I set those aside to ask her about later.
This one is from May of last year a residential driveway.
Did you call them?
No, I thought maybe you would know so I wouldn't have to call
No you need to call on everyone.
People start returning my calls.
Joe Blow is on the phone why did you call him?
To get the status for the Smith driveway from last June.
Oh, you didn't need to call on that one that job is so old it's either been done or cancelled. Go ahead and talk to him since he called back.
John Doe is on the phone, why did you call him?
To get the status on the church proposal from December.
Oh, we got that job and finished it last month. Go ahead and talk to him since he called back.
Walking past my desk. What is all this?
The take offs from the proposals that are no longer valid.
Oh, we don't need these we only keep them if there's a possibility we may be doing the job.
Wha--Oh nevermind, whatever
Sunday, April 17, 2005
I contemplated the math of mitering, and studied the mitering box. I understood the concept but just could not get from theory to practice. I had plenty of small pieces to practice on and kept cutting (I believe having Gordon cut is the same thing as me cutting). I numbered the slots on the box, I numbered the ends of the molding so I could remember what was what. But I could not get a corner that went around and not down the wall, if it matched up at all. Finally, around 6 or so it clicked that I was not necessarily paying attention to how the molding was laid in the miter box prior to cutting. Once I got that it was easy smeasy. Except of course the liquid nails. Did any one mention to me that you need a caulking gun to get the liquid nails out of the container? Did anyone mention that a $1.99 caulking gun costs $25.00 when you go to K-Mart and have to walk past the shoe department? Have caulking gun, have liquid nails, have one strip of properly cut molding. Dab glue on, hold molding to wall, let go, watch molding fall and leave streaks of glue on freshly painted walls. Use mitering box on Megan when she comes in to ask if we're going to be making dinner soon or should she just grab something to munch on. Wonder who decided we needed molding, who would ever notice the huge gaps between the ceiling and the wall, who the hell comes to my house anyway. Leave room and have confidence that Gordon will figure something out before I have a complete melt down. Gordon applies liquid nails as if he is caulking the gap between the wall and the ceiling, hold molding up, press in, watch glue ooze out, let go, it stays. Grab wet towel wipe off oozed glue. Be grateful again that Gordon was there (but then again if he had never pulled the original... oh never mind, let's just stick with grateful.) Use test piece of molding to know what corner needs what number, measure, measure, measure, measure, cut. Glue, press, wipe, repeat as needed around the room. We came up about four inches short at the end of the room, as we had originally cut that piece before I knew what I was doing, but the test piece fit fine once the end was trimmed off flat.
I proceeded to make dinner while Gordon hung curtain rods. I got my curtains up, but I'm not real happy with the valances, I like the color between the walls and the curtains but I don't really like the way they hang, but I have at least a week to consider it and can make changes as necessary. Gordon is charged with putting the radiators on, finish stripping the nightstand (maybe even painting it) and getting the stuff back into the closet while I am down state at work this week. Maybe by the time Mel gets here it will be done.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Sabrina went to see her dad last weekend and had her picture taken. She is getting so big, and smart. She read to me while I was tiling the bedroom floor last Saturday. She is behind for her age, but still ahead of the other kids. The bedroom did not progress while I was gone, I was hoping to have a few more things finished when I got back, the nightstand stripped and painted, the closet shelves painted, the radiators put back up, but I guess we'll get to that later. I have some stuff to do today - oil change, bank, shopping, so I'm not expecting a lot of progress this weekend. I'll post at the end of the weekend and let you know where we are.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Friday, April 08, 2005
Things are going well here. I like the job, it is interesting and usually pretty busy, the people are good people to work with, the dress code is casual, and the hours are 8:30 to 5:00. Although the office manager told me last week since I drive home on Fridays I could come in at 8 on Friday's and leave at 4:30. She told me this around 4 last Friday afternoon and thus I had not come in at 8 that day, she let me go early anyways since Jackson was at Mommy's. Today she let me leave at 3:30 since I had taken some plans to Warren yesterday afternoon and didn't leave Warren until 5:00. The job itself is in Walled Lake, for those who know the area that's Pontiac Trail and Maple, and I found a way to get to and from West Branch avoiding the traffic jam on 96 by cruising around the lakes. The mileage is about the same but the time is less.
As you can see my bedroom is now blue, but we still have floor, and molding, furniture assembly, and light fixture to do. Tomorrow I am dry laying the floor, with absolutely no trepidation, hopefully help will only be a phone call away.
I was listening to a radio program on media censorship today and they were talking about the 'need' for the government to get involved in censoring cable television. As cable is now used by a great majority of household they (the call in listeners) felt that the government needed to do something so that objectionable material (including commercials) were not played when children could see them. The guest on the show was promoting something about "couch potato weekend" encouraging people to spend the weekend on the couch watching objectionable material to send a message that we are capable of censoring ourselves. Although, I agree totally with the message, I'm not sure of the method. But I was amazed at the callers that complained that there was no way to keep their innocent offspring from seeing this objectionable material. I didn't realize that they still sold TV's without off buttons. Hell, most come with channel blockers that are password protected. One person complained about objectionable commercials during children's shows but somehow I don't see the target audience for Viagra watching Sesame Street, and then again the most objectionable commercials I've seen are the one's kids love (you put the lime in the coke you nut). I know in the past I've heard of products boycotted for sponsoring a particular show, maybe boycotting a show supported by a particular product would work also. Along that lines the food police have gotten to Sesame Street. It seems the Cookie Monster is not much of a monster anymore, more of a troll I would say. His theme song is changing from C is for Cookie, to Cookies Are A Some Time Food. Next thing you know Oscar will be polite. What is the world coming to.