Saturday, August 30, 2008

Old and New

On a previous post I talked about staining the front and back decks. I do hate unfinished projects so Sue blew off the front deck and prepared it for it's second coat of stain today.
Here is the before picture...before the cleaning and first coat.

I had no idea it looked so bad until we cleaned it and put on two coats of stain/sealer.

What a nice feeling....getting stuff done!
This morning, after consuming morning caffeine, we took our garbage and recyclables to the Saturday morning drop off spot. We don't seem to generate much garbage so once a month we do the deed.
I did some repair on the lane and driveway while Sue piloted the roller.
At 2:00 I had a conference call regarding staffing the Republican National Convention. Nothing new to report there as everyone is behaving themselves so far. I hope that trend continues when it actually starts.
Our response crews are on standby until the convention is over. Then, we will have lots of people heading down to the Gulf Coast states responding to the hurricane. It sure would be nice if it fizzled out, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen.
Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Friday, August 29, 2008

The State Of Business

I was not sure about posting what you are about to read, but after a bit I decided I should.

I hate to generalize, so I won't. Instead I will say that many of our top companies have had steering problems when it comes to managing their businesses. This is an example of some flawed management practices.
A Japanese company and an American company decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile. The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A
management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering,while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not
enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1
assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the "Rowing Team Quality First Program", with meetings, dinners and free pens for the
rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was
outsourced to India.

Sad but true. Maybe we will eventually get it right.

Tune in again soon for another provocative edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Save Your Cardboard

As we all know, times are tough with the economy and people are looking for ways to cut back.
Here is an interesting concept that I saw recently while studying current business practices designed for today's economy.

EFFECTIVE September 1st, 2008


Dress Code:

1) You are advised to come to work dressed according to your salary.

2) If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we will assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.

3) If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise.

4) If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days:
We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work

Personal Days:
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturdays & Sundays.

Bereavement Leave:
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend the funeral arrangements in your place. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Bathroom Breaks:
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the 'Chronic Offenders' category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company's mental health policy.

Lunch Break: (Love this one)

* Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy.

* Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.

* Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

The Management

And now...The office of the future!

If you are interviewing for a job and see the above office decor, please run away as fast as you can!

Tune in again tomorrow for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Because My Mother-In-Law Said......

Most of you know Molly, my favorite mother in law. If you don't know her personally, you know her, and her husband Harv, through reading this blog.

They are both wonderful people and I think the world of them. Sounds like one of those "but" stories coming...not this time...sorry.

Anyway, Sue was talking with her mom, Molly, on the telephone this week and Molly said that she missed the "personal" touch of the blog. Because I always do what Molly says, and never what Harv says, I have taken her seriously and looked back at the past several weeks worth of writings and musings. As always, or almost always, Molly was right again! My goodness, I had better get to work.

This past Saturday Sue got up and said she did not feel like doing normal weekend chores and she wanted to go on a road trip. Hey, this was my chance to get out of working so I was nodding my head in agreement and squealing with delight like a 12 year old girl. For those motorcycle friends of mine who read this.....leave that one alone. :)

Last Fall we were at a state campground and found this books where you keep track of all your state park visits. After you get so many, you win valuable parting gifts. Well that was enough for me to purchase some of them and get visiting.

Here is what the "Club" is all about:
Passport Club
Do you love to travel and win perks along the way? Answer yes to the question and you'll want to become a member of the Minnesota State Park Passport Club. All you need is your Passport Club kit ($14.95), a sense of adventure, a desire to explore, and a set of wheels.

As a Passport Club member, your goal is to visit Minnesota's magnificent state parks from Afton to Zippel Bay. During your treks you'll see marvelous sights and discover fantastic places like Soudan Underground Mine, 2,400 feet beneath the earth's surface.

To sweeten the deal, you'll be rewarded for your travels. When you visit 8, 16, 32, 48 and all state parks, you'll receive a patch for your travels. After visiting 32 parks you'll also receive a coupon for a free night* of camping. Complete your visits to all state parks and you'll be awarded a free night* of camping plus a handsome Passport Club plaque to display. A Passport Club kit costs $14.95 and can be purchased at most state parks or by calling or stopping by the DNR Information Center, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, 1-888-646-6367.

I have a feeling it is going to take a while for us to visit ALL of the state parks in the state:

Now back to the story...We went up to the hospital to see Sue's friend Beth who was in the hospital with gal bladder problems. If it's a guy is it called guy bladder?

Anyway....we visited with her for a while and took off to the first park on our list. We took a few pictures of the scenery and a cool old bus that was in a parking lot. It would really be fun to fix one up. Then what? Get 5mpg?

By the end of the day we had visited four beautiful state parks. It was a great day, but we are now wondering how long it will take to visit all the parks. It will be a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


As my good friend Alain always! I think he may have reading problems so he likes pictures. :)

Anyway, as I promised you, I have some pictures from our Sheriffs Posse-Red Cross 4th annual ride this past weekend.

And now Two very fine guys...Sheriff Brad Peterson and the left and Sheriff Dave Lange on the right.

Anyone ever watch Orange County Choppers? How about this guest who made it out for the ride...Senior, is that you?

Thanks for checking in. As always, I invite you to click on any advertisement that may interest you.

Tune in again soon for yet another roaring edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sheriffs Possee Red Cross Ride For The Red

What a great day we had Sunday. Between 400 and 500 motorcyclists getting together to raise money for a good cause.

It was our 4th. annual ride, touring the beautiful landscapes of Southern Minnesota.

The ride began at about 9 am with the sheriffs from six counties each leading a group of bikers from their prospective counties. The temperature was a cool 60 degrees when the ride started, but it quickly warmed into the mid 70's with no wind. It was absolutely gorgeous!

The ride ended with a great supper and many door prizes for the deserving riders.

Since Sue and I have retired from the bikes, we volunteered to work the registration area from 7:30 until about 3:30. We had a great time with our super volunteers and the wonderful participants.

We are already planning next years ride.

Before I go, I thought you might enjoy this.


This morning on the Interstate,
I looked over to my left and there was a
In a brand new
Doing 75 mph
With her
Face, up next to her
rear view mirror
Putting on her eyeliner.
I looked away
for a couple seconds!
And when I looked back she was
halfway over in my lane,
s till working on that makeup.

As a man, I don't scare easily.
But she scared me so much;

I dropped My electric shaver ,
which knocked The donut
Out of my other hand.
In all the confusion of trying
to straighten out the car
using my knees against
the steering wheel, it knocked
my cell phone away from my ear,
which fell, into the coffee
between my legs,
splashed, and burned
the boys,
ruined the darn phone,
soaked my trousers,
and disconnected an
important call.
Damn women drivers!!

Tune in again real soon for pictures of the bike ride and yet another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Are We Being Funny or Just Plain Stupid?

OK, Help me figure this one out. I keep seeing headlines in papers and other periodicals with headlines that require a second read. I sure get a charge out of them most of the time, but at the same time I wonder if the headline person has the same warped humor we have or they just did not catch the humor as it appeared on the page.

Here are some examples for you to enjoy:

Makes one wonder...Do you agree?

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Great Trip To Iowa

Sue and I had a great weekend last week. I am about to tell you about it, so pull up a chair, sit down and enjoy the story.
We dropped the girls, Lucy and Betty off at Ben and Anna's home so they could dog sit for us. We sure appreciate those two fine folks.
After we punched out from work for the week we hit the road heading South to Des Moines,Iowa for a visit with my mom and dad, brother and his family.
We pulled in about 5:30 and of course mom had a splendid supper prepared for us.
We spent the rest of the evening chatting and getting caught up on all the news.
Saturday morning we were up at the crack of nine and ready to hit the town.
My, has that city ever grown! You name it, they have it. Downtown we saw the new big library, convention center, theatre, performing arts center, several museums and countless new buildings.
The city really took the bull by the horns and made the downtown area a showpiece.

After checking out the downtown we went over to the SE part of the city and checked out some of the RV lots. You know us, we are always looking for that deal. Anyway, we fell in love with several units. You can tell that business is slow. They were ready to sell us anything they had for cost plus a few bucks. When they discount the units 40 to 50% you know they want to move some product.
The good news is, we did not buy another unit. The bad news is, we did not buy another unit!
Time to get back to the folks place and dress for dinner. Paul's family was expected soon for cocktails then off to dinner.
It was a fabulous dinner with everything from steaks to seafood to spaghetti....all one one plate or plates! Their special has all that and more. We had to be rolled out of there and stuffed back into our vehicles.

It was then back to the folks home for more beverage and desert. Man, that bunch can really pile away the food!
The next thing we knew it was Sunday morning and time to head back north.
It was a wonderful weekend of family and food. We hope to do it again soon.

That is all for now my loyal readers. Please do join me again real soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Friday, August 22, 2008

As The Stomach Turns

OK, I am going to rant just a bit...well, maybe a big bit.

I don't know about you, but I keep getting all these sissy emails about friendship, caring, know the drill.

What the heck is that all about anyway? What really gets me is when you finally get through the entire email, between trips to the bathroom to heave, you read something like this at the end..."If you don't send this to ten of your closest dear friends that mean everything in the world to you within ten minutes, they will meet untimely horrible deaths".

Just thinking about those stupid emails makes me puke a little in my mouth!

So....I have come up with my own version of a realistic "fluffy" email to send to friends:

None of that Sissy Crap

Are you tired of those sissy 'friendship' poems?

Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true friendship.

You will see no cutesy little smiley faces on this card-

Just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.

1. When you are sad --I will jump on the person who made you sad like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile -- I will know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.

4. When you're scared -- we will high tail it out of here.

5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining, ya big baby!!!!

6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.

7. When you are sick --Stay away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever you have.

8. When you fall -- I'll pick you up and dust you off--

After I laugh my butt off!!

9. This is my oath...I pledge it to the end. 'Why?' you may ask -- because you are my FRIEND!

Friendship is like peeing your pants,

everyone can see it,

but only you can feel the true warmth.

There! Now I feel better, thank you very much.

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Please Be Careful!

Many people say that Minnesota can be a very dangerous place to live. While that may be true, I think that just about every state has it's share of danger.

Here in Minnesota we are known for our plentiful snow that can be very beautiful in a controlled setting yet very dangerous if you get caught by surprise.

Other dangers may include mosquitoes the size of small children. Now that I think about it, what is more dangerous, young children or mosquitoes? I guess it is a matter of control again as an out of control mini person can be a dangerous adversary.

We also have bears, cougars,snakes and other things that crawl, slither or walk.

But this Minnesota danger caught me by surprise. PLEASE be careful when jumping on a trampoline!

Please remain vigilant!

Tune in again soon for another edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Equal Time Please!

This bit of humor was sent to me the other day and I wanted to pass it along to you. Of course I added something to the end so we keep gender wars to a minimum.

Husband Store

A store that sells new husbands has opened in New York City , where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men Have Jobs

She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men Have Jobs and Love Kids.

'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more.'

So she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, and are Extremely Good Looking.

'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Good Looking and Help With Housework.

'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men Have Jobs, Love Kids, are Drop-dead Gorgeous, Help with Housework, and Have a Strong Romantic Streak .

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.


To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that love sex and have money and like beer.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

Tune in again soon for another politically correct version of "Now What Are They Doing?"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Bit Of Free Time...Or Maybe A lot Of Free Time?

OK...I see the beauty or this art form...but...being rather busy and not very patient, this would drive me nuts! Heck, to me, building a puzzle is torture.

I just may try creating some of this art, but now that I think about it, I am not allowed near sharp instruments...DARN.

Tune in again soon for another "cutting edge" edition of "Now What Are They Doing?"