Saturday, November 25, 2006

Faster Than FEMA

Less than three weeks ago our recently (Spring) finished basement was flooded by a burst pipe. So, as the story goes... within 24 hours the insurance guy was here and (don't faint) estimated the damage and cut a check! No kidding! Within three hours of that the contractors were here bidding on the work.

So Side Track gave me a hall pass to make book. I removed all the padding, carpet and appropriate dry wall and insulation. I replaced insulation and dry-wall and the contractors took over. They did the taping, mudding, priming, painting and carpeting. Low and behold we are back to normal in less than than three weeks and $4,000.

So, I wonder. If someone held the same sense of urgency and economy to New Orleans... one house at a time, where whould they be 15 months later? Fema, or good old fashioned hard work and HONESTY? Sure makes you think doesn't it?

Let It Roll

Looks like the Chalupa took the family to the "lanes". Unfortunatly, she ended up in the gutter. She was in good company as Big Dawg was right with her. Never done the family bowling thing before, but it looks to be something we will do again in the future.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Dinner is served

Here are nine of the 15 guests who broke bread and celebrated all that we were thankful for. Everyone survived except for Tom. He was pretty well picked over by the time this shin dig was done. Happy T-day one and all!

Team F*U*N Turkey Trots

From left T-Mouse (red), Jeromeo (blue), Petie black), Chalupa (green), Kari, Elika (red), Crazy (of course), Erica (greenish) and Sarah (purple).
Minneapolis may never be the same. But then again, a few tainted drops in that pond may not (noticably) taint the water. But a ripple in still water, is still a ripple in still water.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Ground Cover

Looks like a project for T-giving weekend. This and holiday lights.
November 22, the anniversary of the assasination of JFK. And in 2006, temps will reach the 60's in Monkey Doo. Who say's there's no such thing as global warming?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Caption The Photo

A week ago a caption was requested for this photo:

So far this is what we've got.

"OK son, once you put the firecracker in one of your sisters favorite toys, you light it, stand back and wait for it to blow up. It is mans work" -- Annonymous

"Jimmy, have you ever watched Greco Roman Wresting?" (a quote from Airplane) -- Farrell K., Maryland
"Son, life is like a box of chocolates..." -- Syd, Washington

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Up a tree without

... a ladder. Here is the Chalupa with our neighbor/friend, "The General". Temps in the 40's and no wind. It's great to be a kid on this very temperate, upper-midwest, November, weekend afternoon.

What is it about these neighbors? The General's brother is just as bad.

Gofers 34, Iowa 24

Despite Iowa's dismal offense (5 turn-overs - ugh!), defense and the final score, Buzz Daddy and the Beaner had a great time at the game. So did this "Chicken Man", Hawk fan.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Places NOT To Live

Reuters reports: The town council of Pahrump, (Utah) which lies in the Mojave Desert west of Las Vegas, voted 3-2 on Tuesday to make flying any foreign flag above the U.S. flag or alone an offense punishable by a $50 fine and 30 hours' community service.

I wonder how the Government in charge handled the policies of flag flying in Hamburg, Germany... say in 1938?

In this case I ask if the price of freedom is freedom itself? Bah! Don't get me started!!!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Like Father, Like Son

This "classic" photo was taken during a Nordic Mess activity in the beautiful hamlet of Decorah, IA. Buzz Daddy and Mr. B. Dawg takin' a walk on the levey.

"Havin' fun lookin' at tubers (as in intertubers) floating down the river. Wish you were here. "

What would be YOUR post card header? Let me know and I'll post it.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hearty Congratulations

It was September 2001, when JJ finally decided the knee had to go. Since then it has been a long, up-hill battle with doctors, specialists and surgeons etc... Now four years later and the day before his 45th Birthday, JJ has a fully functional knee with scars and all.

It's been a long row to hoe for our long-time friend and former patient of Dr. JC Taylor. But it had to be done because hemophilia-related cists and structural degeneration made the completey unfunctional. Make no mistake, this was no ordinary surgery. JJ is a hemophiliac and is HIV positive (from a bad blood transfusion years ago) which adds precarious elements to just about any medical treatment, let alone knee replacement.

Anyway, all's well that ends well. Accompanied by his wife, Marina, his father and his girlfriend, and his very close friend Robert, JJ's surgery lasted just over three hours. He has since recovered well enough to get back home in time for to watch the Bears whoop up on the Giants from the comfort of his own home.

When I spoke to him, he said he continues to be amazed at his own recovery and attributes it mostly to will-power, determination and mental toughness. I agreed. Too bad he’s a bleeder with bad knees and tobacco-stained lungs… He’d be a hell of an ultra athlete. Either way, he's still an inspiration to all who know him. Way to go JJ! Keep on keepin' on!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Don't Look Now

When the weather gets cold and snowy, the deer come out of the woods to forrage on anything they can find. They are pictured here during their retreat back to the woods, after dining for about 20 minutes on acorns in our front yard.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Demolition Man

Within 48 hours of the burst pipe, we got our insurance agent on-site. Amazingly, he did a complete estimate and cut a check on the spot. By the afternoon, I had a contractor bidding on the job.
The contractor informs me he can get in late next week (before Thanksgiving) if I can get all the soggy or potentially moldy dry-wall and insulation demolished and removed. So the deconstruction of 1/5 of our recently finished basement has begun.
As Rosanne Addan Addanna used to say..."Well, it's always somethin'". No truer words have been spoken.

More of the Snow Show

It was officially 8 -1/2" in our back yard. But the snow didn't prevent Old Glory from displaying her spectacular colors against the wintery backdrop.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sweeping Changes Ahead?

As I got thinking, the Belly Bean has lived only 6 months with a Democratically controlled house; the rest of her years, and the entire lives of her siblings, have been under the control of a Republican house. As a favorite native son of Minnesota once penned... "the times they are a changin."

Bush should heed the wake-up call and at least try to extend some consideration for ideas, policies and discussions from "across the aisle". He has already acquiesced by accepting Rummy's resignation. But it remains to be seen if this was simply a ruse to pacify the growing anger he faces regarding policy in Iraq.

Conversely, if the Democrats want to hold on to this precarious balance of power, they will need to demonstrate some cooperation with their republican counterparts. For instance, be judicious about launching over-zealous congressional investigations and oversight committees. Instead the Democrat's (and Republicans) should focus on policies and best practices that will result in progress, lower deficits, improved international relations, improved education, reformed welfare programs, simplified taxes, more appropriate minimum wage, better environmental care, equal rights, smart immigration strategies.

Party politics and selfish practices will only result in continued voter disatisfactoin and a crappy democracy. Compromise and cooperation will win the day for everyone. Sweeping changes ahead? Probably not, but a balanced approach will make for smarter changes, that's for sure.

80/20 Rule?

Two days ago it was 80, sunny and summer-like. This morning we woke up to 20 degrees and 6 inches of misery.

Two hour delay for kid's school with cancelation most likely.

Buzz Daddy's gonna play hooky at least this morning.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Who's That Guy?

Wait one Iowa minute. Is that a famous author?

Hey, yeah! I think it is. It's THE Tim Johnston, author of "Never So Green"? Yep, that's the dude alright.

On this particular morning, he looks never so thirsty for a cup of joe. With bag and laptop in tow, he appears ready to hit it hard. Write on, dude. Write on.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Uncle Joe's Band

Seen here drumming away at Club 500, Uncle Joe may not claim the top-of-mind fame of John Bonumm, Keith Moon, Neil Pert or Russ Kunkel, but he is our most popular drummer these days. Keepin' time, holdin' tempo and drivin' rythem... a yeoman's job to git 'er done!

Leak Uncovered

If you look closely, you'll see the source of the leak. Nothing like a burst pipe to cause thousands of dollars of damage to a recently finished basement. I am pleased to note the tragedy was not the ill-fated result of a Buzz Daddy plumbing job, but a frozen outside spigot. Saddly, a sister spigot on the other side of the basement has the same break with much less damage. This is what home owners insurance is for... right?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Happy Birthday Side Track!

The tradition continues for it's 39th year in a row (or something like that). Many happy birthday wishes to Side Track (far left) who is joined by her family (Peanut, Belly Bean, Mr. B Dawg, Buzz Daddy and the Chalupa) in celebrating this annual event.