Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday June 27, 2009...Thoughts about Facebook

We all think our thoughts are not exciting enough to write about and our past adventures are not interesting enough for other people to read. We don't have the thrilling adventures that are made into movies or written about in mystery novels. But, after reading some of the thoughts and adventures of my fellow classmates in our reunion memory book, I decided that we are all wrong. What may seem normal and humdrum and dull to one person will seem extremely interesting to another. The places people have been and the sites they have seen and the people they have met open up new windows for the rest of us to view. You find yourself living in the high desert or near the coast and the ordinary daily living experiences are unique to your location and interesting to the flatlanders in the middlewest. I can't get too excited about Twitter or Facebook and the little notes about our everyday living, but when someone describes a walk through the mountains or a stroll along the beach or mentions the fog rolling in from the sea, it activates my mind and draw pictures for me.

So, even though I've signed onto Facebook and Twitter and other sites, I will devote most of my thoughts and energies to this blog. It's a place where I can vent my feelings and communicate my innermost thoughts to anyone who is willing to visit. It's a place where I can paint a few pictures with words and perhaps take others with me to view a long lost thought or memory. It may not deal with the everyday actions that we all must do, but it will delve a bit deeper and tell a bit more about the real me that resides within this shell of a man.

Besides, my everyday adventures aren't always things to talk about. Who wants to hear about someone lounging around eating bon-bons?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday June 21, 2009...HOORAY!


Hip, hip, hooray! I finally finished all 100+ copies of the DVD for the reunion. It took a bit longer than I anticipated. Assembling the finally submitted pictures took 4-5 days to label, sort and insert, then it took 5 days to make the copies and insert into labeled disk jackets. But it is all done now. Tomorrow I will take them to the post office and send them on their way.

It's good to finish a big project like this. It reminds me of the time it took to bid the larger construction projects I used to bid. Sometimes you would spend a month preparing the takeoff, pricing and bidding a project. Then if you won, you would spend the better part of a year managing the scheduling, purchasing and completion of the work. I've been working on this project since last October and now I feel that all the work has led to a successful conclusion. It will be quite a while before I tackle anything quite so time consuming again, but it was a project I felt good in doing. It brought back a lot of memories.

So today is Father's day and I will take the day off and enjoy having no timetable or schedule to follow. It will be a peaceful day and I can now think back about the reunion and even have time to view the memory book that we received at the reunion.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Saturday June 20, 2009...Different worlds

It was so nice getting together with all my friends and acquaintances from high school at the reunion. The one thing I especially noted was that we were all from the same background and carried many of the same childhood values throughout our lives.

Life is so different now and the patience and understanding and values that we developed during our childhood after World War 2 are so very different from the values of later generations. We grew up with a different attitude because many of our parents had experienced the great depression and the World War. We were made to appreciate the value of simple things and to make them last. We did not grow up in a “throw away” world. There were no fast food restaurants. In fact without microwaves and dishwashers cooking and cleaning in our world took time and care. Many of us grew up without air conditioning and without television, so ours was an outdoor world and a world where your imagination created the playing field. Our smaller houses without many labor saving devices were where the family came together each evening for supper. After supper, in our house, the kids did the dishes. Mom had enough to do just cooking and cleaning and washing clothes and ironing clothes and grocery shopping, so the kids had to help clean on Saturdays before they could listen to the radio and did the dishes every evening. The only time we ever ate out at restaurants was when we went on vacation. Other than that, we had potluck dinners with church and scouts and relatives. It was a “make do” world with decent home values. It felt good to be with other people from the same background and similar values. We seemed to understand each other.

My kids and grandson don't understand the importance of making things last and repairing and attempting to keep operating those things that they would just throw away. They have a hard time staying away from the fast food chains and preparing simple meals at home from scratch. Theirs has been a world of prepared foods and throw away and grab a bite. Sitting down to supper with the family is a novel idea to them and a world without television makes them shudder.

I guess life goes on at a different pace, but I feel more comfortable with the simpler life that I grew up with.

Friday June 19, 2009...How hot is it?

How hot is it, you ask. Outside the heat index has been up in the mid 100s (like 104). That's hot, especially for springtime. Summer starts next week and it promises to be a warm summer.

I've been slaving over a hot computer day and night copying DVDs. Actually the computer has been running hot, since it hasn't been off for days and it occasionally hiccups from the heat and won't let me shut it down. I have to unplug it and let it cool down with a nice refreshing drink and then start up again and reload the program and start all over again. The word to use at that juncture is fratersmashing-vritzilsmittzen!! It doesn't mean anything, but you feel better after saying it.

At least it's nice and cool in the house while I'm copying, ..copying, ...copying....

Excuse me, I had a hiccup myself there for a minute. Life can be exciting sometimes and at other times it can be repetitious. The good thing is that most of the DVD blanks are good. You always end up with a few that, due to manufacturing defects, won't allow themselves to be written to. Some of the off-brands will have 25% bad. The really good ones may have 2-3% bad. It just comes with the mass production.

Once I get through with the 100 copies, I'll shut down the computer and take off the case and give it a good airing out with blasts of air (to eliminate dust - helps the machine run cooler and prevents arcing).

I'm babbling a bit, am I not? I guess I'm just thrilled with sitting here waiting for the next copy to finish, to finish, to finish.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday June 14, 2009...Company Picnic

I meant to publish this on Sunday, but Sunday got away from me and now it's Monday. Time has a way of doing that when you're retired and lazy, like me.

Saturday was a reunion day for me when I dropped by Builders Steel annual company picnic. It was so good to see the folks there. It's been 5 years since I retired, but many of the people that I worked with are still at Builders. It's like a family firm where people will spend their entire working life at that one organization. I started work at Builders when I was still in college in 1960 and worked there, off and on, till retiring at the end of 2003. Many of the folks have been there for 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years. It's a good company of people working together. You don't see that too often anymore. Greed has invaded so many organizations and the welfare of the people working together has been forgotten. Builders Steel still maintains the old ethic that we are all in this together and all are important. It really is like family when you get together again. There are only a few people there now that were there when I first started, so the company of people has changed over the years, but the atmosphere is still the same.

I can only complement the remaining people at Builders and say "Keep up the good work". You'll always feel good about yourself when you share your efforts with your fellow workers and look out for each other. Thanks.

Monday June 14, 2009...Whew!!

Whew is a great word. It's an exclamation and a sigh combined. It's like letting the air out of your tires after a long hard day and you flatten out on the cool damp concrete and just lie there.
I'm getting to that point and close to that exclamation. I didn't realize that so many people would take their cameras to the reunion and take so many pictures. I've been trying to label each person in each photo and add it to the reunion video before I can finalize the video and then make one hundred copies to mail out. I thought I could easily add the photos from the photographer in an hour or so and then add a few individual pictures to that. Right now there have been about 300 pictures that have come through and there are more to come. So far I've spent about 3-4 days labeling pictures and adding to the video. Once I finalize the video, it will take me about 4 full days to make the copies and mail them (you make one copy at a time - about 20 minutes each). That isn't difficult, you just have to be there every 20 minutes to start a new one and package the old one.

I've enjoyed the experience, but I wouldn't want to make a habit of doing this. I had assembled a video story for Dad's funeral and my daughter's wedding and a few other events, but they weren't quite as elaborate and time consuming as this. I want to make this right and enjoyable for everyone, so I'm trying my best to make sure that no mistakes are evident and that the music is enjoyable. Right now the video is within 5 minutes(video time) of being full, which means there is room for about 30 more pictures and then it will be cut-off time or else there will have to be a lot of shuffling of photos to squeeze in any additional.

Anyway, it will be good to complete the project and move on to less laborious retirement activities like blogging. All those on the reunion list, enjoy the video!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tuesday June 9, 2009...Grandchildren can be a joy

What a pleasure grandchildren can be, especially when they show a bit of their true nature. Kids at the age of 10 are not known to be unselfish and are generally concerned only with things that immediately affect them. It's no surprise to most of us older people when they try to wangle and twist words around in their favor. They aren't lying or cheating (they are being creative and crossing their fingers).

My grandson calls me Grandpa Bob. Yesterday, without coaxing or even suggesting, he came up to me and said “Grandpa Bob, the kitchen floor is sure getting dirty. Can I mop it for you?”. I have a wonderful looking white linoleum floor in the kitchen (never again) which shows every little speck of dust, footprints, spilled ketchup, etc and has to be thoroughly cleaned at least once a week with intermittent moppings. It's a constant problem with young children and pets around. When Zachary volunteered and then followed through doing a great job, it really impressed me. Later he helped me count out some pills, asking me what each one was for and was generally a fine young gentlemen. I know that this won't happen everyday, but it was so nice to see him care enough to help without anyone forcing him to do it. A real insight into the type of person he may become. I'm looking forward to his development in the years to come.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sunday June 7, 2009...Reunion thoughts

Well. the last function of the 50th reunion of our graduating high school class just finished. It was a grand weekend and good to see all the older youths from my past. It was especially sweet to share hugs and kisses with all the beautiful women of our class. It's amazing to me that the years have treated them all so kindly and they have matured into really beautiful women externally as well as internally. The guys are the same fellows that I grew up with in older bodies, but still great friends to spend time with. The years melted away and the time apart disappeared. We shared memories and I was amazed to find out that they had developed such depth of character and thought. I could have spent days talking with each one and enjoyed every moment.

Life is so precious, especially when you can share time with friends.

I just want to tell all those friends from long ago that you are still my friend and I enjoy your company. I hope that we can at least communicate and that it won't be so long until I see you again. I hope that each and every one of you will drop me an email when you have a chance. I will respond.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Saturday June 6, 2009...Reunion

Last night we held our first reunion get together at the Union Station. It was a success, but way too short. Not nearly enough time to see and chat with all the long lost friends from long ago. Tonight we get together for a dinner/dance and hopefully have enough time to actually visit with my friends. It's hard to catch up on fifty years of living in just a few moments of conversation. I must say that everyone there last night was comfortably friendly and we all felt a closeness from the years that we spent together in our youth. Some of us were more successful than others of us and some of us weathered the years better than some of us, but we are all survivors and come from a common background of a gentler and more peaceful time. We can all see that the world has changed and not all the changes were good, but we feel lucky that we had the years and experiences that we did.

Tonight should be a great time for all our Paseo friends from long ago.