Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Monday: New Year's Eve

This morning, I got my first blood-sugar meter, and was shown how to use it. The process is quite straightforward, and much less uncomfortable than I expected. In fact, in a few days I should be skilled enough to call myself finger-prickin' good.

I phoned my father, had a short talk about #2 daughter and my coming to see him. Next, I phoned a company about an affiliate program they're running. After getting some good news, I said to my wife, "someday, I'm going to be rich and famous." Without looking up from the dishwasher rack, she asked, "do I laugh now, or later?"

The fact is, I'd settle for 'moderately well off and not entirely anonymous.'

I finished a bulletin I edit for the local Knights of Columbus, and dropped it off at Main Street Press a little after noon. Then, I drove up to Little Falls to drop off a violin bow for repairs. I got back in time to buy batteries before supper.

We had two daughters, our son, and two nieces/cousins here this evening. The new cousin (from our kids' point of view) came with her dad. The balance of her family is back at their home while she and her dad visit the Sauk Centre grandpa.

Our young ladies and the cousins had a good, and only moderately noisy, evening. The new cousin's dad, one of my brothers-in-law, showed up later, with a DVD.

He's justifiably pleased with a new room on his house. The job got done a few months ago. To save money, he raised the roof on the south part of his house, put in the room, then replaced the roof.

It makes sense, since if he had replaced the roof and the ceiling under it, he'd have had to do a very expensive bit of remodeling. Building codes are fine things, but I sometimes question the wisdom of their details.

The crane he rented had a lifting capacity of 73 tons. That's overkill for lifting a 9,000 pound roof, but it was the only one available. The crane operator, I'm told, was really good. I believe it. That roof came up very smoothly, got set gently down on a pair of cinder-block walls. The crane and its support trailer weren't as gentle on the driveway, I'm told.

The job started at about 8:30. The second floor walls had to be up and the roof bak by noon, since that's when the crane was leaving. Having the walls built ahead of time helped. Not the whole wall: just the framing.

At $335/hr, my brother-in-law didn't want the thing around any longer than necessary, anyway. He had a good way of encouraging the crew to make good use of time: he said they wouldn't eat until the roof was back on.

At least one of my other brothers-in-law was on the crew, plus more of the extended family. My father-in-law was there, too. After the roof was back in its new place, they got the walls sheathed: with sheeting over the windows. The windows were delayed, and didn't arrive until the next day.

That's a lot about a job I only saw on a television screen: but I was impressed by what I saw. And, my brother-in-law's enthusiasm was contagious.

I stayed up to see the ball go down in Times Square, New York. #2 daughter stayed with me. The remainder of the young ladies were watching a movie: one of them had a laptop.

Information technology has come a long way. I remember when television was black and white, and electric typewriters were cutting-edge technology.

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