Showing posts from November, 2007

Ladysmith, Wisconsin

Yesterday we traveled to Ladysmith, Wisconsin. We left Minneapolis at 8:30 am so that we could give a short performance for the students at the high school at 1 pm. There were about 400 teenagers in the auditorium and they were surprisingly well behaved, quiet, as attentive as teenagers can be and inquisitive. We took questions from the audience, and as expected, my Minnesota Vikings jacket drew some fire.

"Who's the Vikings fan?" asked one of the younger ones, "You know the Packers play the Cowboys tonight, don't you?"

"Yes, yes," I replied, "I know the Packers are better than the Vikings this year," (wild applause), "all I care about is that they beat Dallas, because I hate the Cowboys." (more wild applause).

Afterwards one of the teachers was talking to me, "Not many of these kids will come to tonight's concert. The Packers play the Cowboys tonight, so most of them will stay home to watch it."

We spent the after…

Cat Addict

I've come to the conclusion that I am addicted to cats. I have felt so empty since Callie died. I've had cats since the late 80's when I first got my dear, dear boy Tristram. This is the first time I've been without a little furry for around 20 years!

Rusty wants a cat, too. Poor little bastard has been carrying around an old boot lace like Linus van Pelt with his blanket and he follows me from room to room, or he meows mournfully as if he's looking for either Callie or Minky (she died one year ago today).

I want to get an orange male, but I don't want a kitten. Kittens go through what I call the 'tween years, which is somewhat similar to teen age years in humans. They go crazy, they git into shit they shouldn't and they're generally annoying for a month or two and I just don't want to deal with that. So I'd like to find a boy who's a year or more old. Orange boys have always been my favorite kind of cat, I've never met one who …

RIP Callie

I found my poor little sweet poot today. She's dead.

I knew she'd been sick lately, she'd lost so much weight and gotten that ratty, sick cat fur. I knew she was going and the vet would only cost me money I don't really have. I can't spend hundreds of dollars keeping a cat alive like my sister could.

I saw her the other night and she was so weak and wobbly. I told her how much I loved her and what a great cat she'd been. I told her it was okay to die. I watched her not much later gingerly walk to one of her favorite living room spaces, under the end table -- she would sleep there for hours. And that's where I found her.

She was such a sweet, sweet girl. I keep thinking about our lives together.

My girlfriend at the time, Christy, brought home a stray cat one night that turned out to be a pregnant female, Callie was one of five kittens who were born a couple of weeks later.

We kept them in the back room of our apartment, a three-season porch that you had …

Equipment Malfunction

My packaging machine started malfunctioning this week. Normal operation is as follows:
Pour roasted beans or grounds into the hopper.Set the code for the weight neededStart operationBeans or grounds flow into weigh bucketWeigh bucket stops when correct weight is reachedPlace bag under spoutPress foot-switch to open hopperOperation continues automaticallyEverything still works like it should, but the foot-switch is operating as if someone were standing on it, that means it fills and dumps, fills and dumps, fills and dumps just as fast as the machine will go.

The other day we had 25 cases of 36 to fill -- that's 900 bags. Normally one person can fill one box in about 5 minutes. The machine was working so fast that two of us had to work in tandem, one person filling, the other sealing, and we were completing boxes in about 3-1/2 minutes (our record was 2:55)!!

I had an electrician come in and look at the machine, he said it's not the foot-switch, it's probably a circuit board…

Playing Hooky From Work

I played hooky yesterday. I just didn't feel like coming to this big, dark, cement building for a change. Most people go out and do fun stuff when they play hooky, they go shopping or fishing or to see a movie. Not me, I spent the day in front of my computer playing with Illustrator & Photoshop, making web graphics and buttons. Still, it felt good.

In the last week I've spent a bunch of time on a project that could turn into something big for my business. I can't go into too many details because I promised the people involved that I wouldn't, but here's the gist.

I received samples of roasted beans from this company and my task was to match the colors so that they could see if I could work for them. It wasn't very easy and I learned something about roasting that I had never noticed before, a 10 lb. batch of beans roasts differently than a 25 lb. batch. Everything happens quicker with a small batch, that's obvious because it takes less time, but i…

Trick or Treat

My door got knocked on all of four times last night and only three of those times it was little kids in costumes (and one very cute mommy).

Next year when the group of teen-agers who aren't in costume come up to my door I am going to say, "What? Is this 'No costume-candy-give-away-day'? No, it isn't. Come
back on 'No-costume-candy-give-away day' and we'll do business then!"

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