Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I am not dead

Sorry for the lack of posts but I have been very busy at work. We have a guy out to have a SECOND total knee replacement and I am covering part of his runs. Being a "milk man" is very hard on the knees.

He recovered very well from his first knee replacement but has worn out his good knee helping his replacement knee. Hope he will be able to return to work but I think it will be more of a challenge this time around.

Also I have been building a deck (or front porch) for the travel trailer and yes there will be a story to follow its completion. Without two days in a row off it is a little harder to accomplish the things I want to get done. Heck, being 59 doesn't help either.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Computer Desk

I knew I wanted to custom build a computer desk for our new Cardinal travel trailer but I changed the design several times and this is what I finally built.

This is the picture of the unit that we used to order our trailer. Ours has hardwood flooring in the kitchen and living room but it shows where I wanted the computer desk. The desk would sit in front of the window and the recliner would be our computer chair.

I wanted the desk to match the kitchen cabinets so I ordered doors from the factory. I then changed my design after I realized if I put the printer behind doors and the CPU behind a door on the other side, then it would limit the width where my legs go under the table.

This is the final design I chose to built. I notched the back to clear the window treatment and put a back splash around it.

The desk has the CPU unit, DSL, and surge protector behind the door. The left end of the desk is open to let the CPU unit breath. The scanner printer and monitor on the desk. The keyboard and mouse is on a pull-out tray.

Ready to use, it seems to fit the bill.

The colors blend very well as the desk takes on a lighter or darker shade depending on the light. This shot shows the desk, kitchen cabinets and hardwoods floors.

Add the recliner and I am ready to update my blog and check on all the blogs I visit.

I usually use stain and top it with polyurethane but this time I tried the polyurethane with the stain already mixed in. The problem with it is if you get a run then the stain accumulates at the bottom of the run. On horizontal surfaces it is fine but on vertical panels it tends to run. I feel it is more of a spray application.

All-in-all I am very pleased with the desk and it is built with three-quarter inch oak plywood and one inch oak lumber so it is built to last.

59, How can that be?

May 22, 1948. Yes that is when I was born.
2007 - 1948 = 59 years.

Sure I can do the math (with the help of a calculator , numbers this LARGE are a little hard), but the real question is, "How did the years pass so fast?"

I really can't complain as my health is very good. I have never spent the night in a hospital from an illness. Two overnight stays, one when I was hit by a car in Los Angeles when I was 12 and for a tonsillectomy when I was 15.

I can count on one hand the number of days I have missed work from illness.

The old saying, "I am not as good as I once was, but I am as good once as I ever was" ( heck I never was as good as I thought I was anyway).

But I can still put in a hard days work ( with the help of aspirin) but am sore the next day if I have used muscles I am not used to using.

I have type II diabetes but have no trouble keeping it under control if I eat like I should. I really don't have to follow a diet, just watch my sweet intake.

My eye site is alright for someone my age as I can see in the distance better than most people of any age and just need glasses to read.

I have more forehead to wash but it is offset by having less hair to comb. Heck, I even have less teeth to brush than when I was younger.

I still like to look at the women, but I just can't remember why!

So as I wind down to retirement I guess I am very fortunate for the shape I am in.

Now I have something to look forward to, the BIG six O.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

France - Train Stop

We were up early Saturday morning to head out to Angers. Matt jointed us at the train station. It was nice to ride the high speed train in the daylight even if I was sitting backwards.

We had one stop before Angers and I could not believe what I saw when I looked out the window when we stopped.


Sable pronounced "say-blee". For those who don't know, that is my e-mail address. How cool is that.

As I mentioned earlier, the day would supply what I consider the highlight of my trip. Paris is great but after reading and seeing pictures of its sites it was almost anticlimactic.

Monday, May 07, 2007

France - Moulin Rouge

Our last full day in Paris started with a train ride to the outskirts of Paris to an auto museum that Zac had found on the internet. It didn't show up on the map but being that far out only the major streets were shown and we just assumed it was on a small street not shown.

I have always thought that the anecdotal adventures differentiates great vacations from ordinary ones.

When we got off the train to read the map of the local area, we still couldn't find the street. Zac spotted a tourist office and we headed over. When he asked the lady about the auto museum, the look on her face and the laughing had me a little confused because they were speaking French.

After we walked out, Zac explains the museum had been closed for a few years and several times a week someone will ask about it. They just didn't take down their website.

After returning to Paris, we found a nice little cafe to have a traditional French meal. I started with a onion soup with cheese, followed by beef bourguignon, and an apple tart for dessert. We always asked for a picture of water. The tap water is excellent in France. Per most meals in France, we were there about an hour and a half. They make sure everyone is finished with their appetizers before they bring your main course and then bring the dessert menu again after everyone is finished just in case you have changed your mind after ordering the three course before the meal.

After the meal we were off to the house of the French writer "Balzac". Zac had studied his books in his masters program. I knew nothing about him but found the museum interesting. It gave us the chance to walk the real streets of Paris for a change.

After this I asked Zac if we could go back to the "red light district". We had walked by past it on our return from "the church on the hill" but that night I said to myself, "not tonight dear, I am to tired".

The Moulin Rouge ( French for "red mill" ) is the most famous night club in the world. With a cover charge of 100 Euros for a meal and a show, it was a little out of our price range. Plus elegant evening attire is required.

The rain was off and on, so we headed in a cafe for coffee. Nice little cafe and we spent about two hours just sitting and talking. It was our first chance to really just talk and not worry about being tourists.

We headed back to retrieve our bags and picked up a couple of paninis to eat on the train ride to Zac's apartment in Le Mans.

I was a little disappointed that it was dark but I knew I would see the countryside on our return trip to Paris to catch the plane home.

As we left the train station in Le Mans ( everyone exits the same way ), we walked thru an alley to the street. Every mom that visits Le Mans makes this same trip.

Some words are spelled the same in French as in English. It's dark and all you can see at the other end of the alley and on the street to take to town or stand at the bus stop is the sign with large red letters SEX SHOP. We had a good laugh at every mothers expense.

Zac's apartment is about a quarter mile from the train station. We had just gotten inside when his phone rang with a text message (everyone uses text messages as they are a lot cheaper than actual phone calls) from his friends and they wanted us to join them for a beer. How could I say no.

I met the Frenchies; Valentin, Julie and Coline and the two Emilys and Matt. At first I thought Julie and Valentin just wanted to practice their english on another anglophone but it soon became apparent that all his friends were taking turns in the chair that best made conversation with me possible. All his friends were making sure that I felt weclome. I was indeed impressed with them.

A good time was had by all and it was a night that I will never forget. Zac and I had our first beer together and I truly enjoyed being a part of this group of young people that feel education is the way to a fulfilling life.

I would not see Valentin or Julie again and only saw Coline briefly at the University where she gave me my only bisous ( the traditional kiss on each cheek).

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Annie Oakley

Anyone remember the "Annie Oakley Show" from the 50"s?

Annie Oakley was played by Gail Davis from Little Rock. She was our company spokesperson and we displayed her picture on our retail home delivery trucks ( yes milk used to be delivery to you door. We stopped this practice about 10 years ago).

Our company donates products at various public events and have a large grill that we take to cook for people.

We took the old retail truck that be used for this and painted it in the style of our 50's trucks.

It was displayed at our annual company picnic today. The truck looks great and will be a rolling advertisement for our company.

It conjours up a life before cell phones, computers, locked doors, both parents working outside the home, and lets not forget the Saturday afternoon westerns.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Book Review

Before I review the book, I would like to tell you about Garland Leamons. Mr. Leamons was born in 1910 and we buried him this week.

He has my bother Bob's father-in-law. 97 years young and indeed a treasure to everyone that knew him.

What does this has to do with a book review?

Mr. Leamons lived a very simple life and over sixty years ago built a home for his family about ten miles from town. Over the years I had the pleasure of visiting his home several times and had the honor of being a pallbearer when Mrs. Leamons passed away nearly 25 years ago.

Just a simple home for a simple family but when you entered you felt the love of this family.

I was just a youngster the first time I visited but I was always welcome and as I became older, we had some wonderful talks. I should say, "I listened while he talked". He had wonderful stories and I was always entertained.

It is my loss that I haven't visited in several years. So many stories that I will never have the privilege of hearing.

The life he led mirrors the life chronicled in this months book.


The Foxfire books are a series of books about the early life in the southern Appalachians mountains.

In the late 1960's, Eliot Wigginton and his students created the magazine Foxfire in an effort to record and preserve the traditional folk culture of the Southern Appalachians.

It become so popular and so many students became involved that it led to the book series.

Eliot Wigginton was the editor while his students were the authors. They talked to their elder family members and began to assemble the stories of their heritage.

Each book is a stand alone book with it's own stories but the original Foxfire book explains how it all got started.

They should be available at your local library.

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