Monday, May 17, 2004

Going to New York

Regardless of the fandangled car business and the complications of work which I shall not address here I am in fact going to make my way out to New York for the week! I have a horse show to see! And my sister is riding. I haven't mentioned her much in this blog, but to give you the skinny: She is my amazingly multitalented big sister who has found time to follow her passion of being a professional horse jumping champion (well... along with the horse) while toiling her days away working in the Financial District of New York City! Deb is amazing. She's a great cook, fun to banter with, and again... a sharp cookie!
She married this guy who I really think is awesome. Outside his near Dr. Doolittle talent of working with animals, Craig has a heart of gold that radiates out of smallest smile. He's got one of those winning faces that says something of chivalry, talent and peace. Anyway, they bought a house and a ranch and raised a barn which they're now taking horses into. I might be the only one in the family who hasn't made it over there yet, but I fully intend to get the grand tour of their new digs.
I honestly think that there is a strong chance that they'll make their way to the Olympics, but I'm getting ahead of myself... I just want to see her ride! Also, I'm going to take pictures... as I do.
I don't know when I'll get around to developing them all (I'm already 7 rolls behind!) but when I do you'll most likely see one or two of them here!
Drop me a line if you know whats going on in the city on the weekend!


Friday, May 14, 2004


My car is currently being repaired. At least the body work is getting done. On the other hand, the mechanical still needs to be looked at. Since the accident, the fuel gauge is freaking out wildly and the convertible top motor has stopped working both of which could have been effected by the accident. If I tried to repair these on my own, I'd be spending upwards of a grand. This whole thing would be easier if the insurance agent wasn't jerking me around. They sent me a check for less money than the repair on my car cost. If I sign the check, I'm basically releasing the insurance agency from obligation of repairs... and this is just for the body shop... we haven't even found out an estimate from a mechanic. Plus the windshield got smacked by a bottle on New Years Eve... so I'm a bit frustrated by all of this... I mean, I didn't cause these accidents and I'm still going to wind up paying for it? I mean, my car wasn't even moving!


Sunday, May 09, 2004

Phoenix, AZ

I flew into Phoenix for the weekend to celebrate Mother's Day with my Grandparents. My Grandma, Dorothy "Dot" DeMaio is still hanging in there in her late 80s. They are living in Sun City West, a community by Del Webb. Sun City is one of those planned communities.
The streets are laid out in increasingly larger concentric circles from the center where the senior facilities (tennis courts, golf course, hospital, theatre) can be found. Maybe its really good that the city is circular considering the age of the population. According to community rules one must be above the age of 55 to live in Sun City... so I'd have to wait another 30 years or so to get into it... but trust me, there is nothing further from my wishes as to end up in the dessert.
The weather peaked out at 102 degrees. Even though I found the dry heat pleasant, none of my family would join me outside for any length of time. It was a far cry from Madison WI last weekend, when it snowed.
For some reason I'm beginning to get the sense that I should decide on one location and stick to it for a season. All of this climate hopping has left me with a bit of a sore throat, which I was very aware and concerned about when visiting with my grandmother who is immunosuppressed by age. My Grandpa Tony is healthy as a horse, but he admitted to me privately that he was having a difficult time taking care of Grandma all of the time, especially with putting and taking her wheelchair out of the car on trips to the doctor's office and the store. To me the chair is light weight. I can pick it up with one hand, but then again I'm young and able.
I am currently devising a plan to create a device that will auto load the chair into the trunk with the use of a lever. If you have seen such a device or have a plan in mind for its construction, please let me know.
But I digress, it was Mother's Day and we got together at my cousin Robert & his wife, Lynzie's house. They are new parents themselves... well not exactly new... this is their 4th Mother's Day. Robert grilled several racks of ribs, salmon, peppers, and other veggies which produced quite a bounty of food for our family.
My father and his brother Kenny were estranged for a long while which I suppose closed the channels of communication from my cousins and I, even though were were never really that close to begin with. I hadn't met Robert & Lynzie's daughter before. The last time I was in Phoenix was in November 11, 2000. I remember that day clearly as a plane crashed in New York and I dreamed it would happen just as the day was inversed from 9/11... 11/9 would bring another. It was also the day I was to fly back to Madison.
Anyway, I have a new CUZ named Samantha and she's awesome. She didn't care about the heat and I hung out with her while she played in her sandbox and made mud pies and rode around on her tricycle and electronically motored VW Bug. I get along great with kids. I guess its cause they can tell I'm still a kid too. I made a go of riding the tricycle myself, which was good for a laugh from the family.
From Cuz's perspective, both of her Great Grandmas & Grandpas were in attendence, her Grandma Pat & Grandpa Ken (my uncle), her Grandma Lucy (Lynz's Mom) her Grand Aunt Linda and Grand Uncle Doug (my parents). It was a good day.


Wednesday, May 05, 2004


I worked a specialty trade show for Sahagian & Associates, Inc. The targets were buyers of snack foods and candy at gas stations and convienent stores in the midwest. Going into this show I knew that the market for our product was going to be slim. For example, A Yard of Bubblegum contains 133 gumballs. The average serving size for candy products at a convienent store is ONE.
Additionally, we are not yet distributed by any majors in the market yet. I spent most of the show gathering research about the market itself and who the major distibutors were and who had the lions share of the stores. Now I have a direction to head to if I want to explore this area of the candy business.


Monday, May 03, 2004

Mifflin St. Block Party

The glory days of Mifflin are here again. Its been 8 years since the riots and the memory of that one weekend in '96 has faded considerably. I met several students who had no idea that there ever were riots during Mifflin St. Block Party. There were substantially less people attending this year than last by about 5 or 6 thousand, but still 25,000 drunk college students is still a sight to be seen.
I walked around the streets and into houses where the ghosts of parties and friends lie. At one point or another, I've been in all of the houses, at parties on the 400 & 500 blocks of Mifflin. Walking into them I could almost hear the ghost voices of old friends lost to time and distance. Alderman Mike Verveer is still in town, working his ass off for his constituents which include the residents of Mifflin and finishing up Law School. He was very close to getting me to run for alder in the Vilas neighborhood. He's an encouragement and a good man!

I saw a bunch of old friends, as I often do when I'm in town. We drank, went out and had a good time. It got cold. By morning it was 38 degrees and snowing. The powder came down in gargantuan flakes as large has my fist, but seemed to drift down as if gravity had eased up as to decrease the pres. The trees around Madison are already green and blossoming, so the powder that stuck to the limbs had an amazing zen quality to it. Its one of those beautiful moments not afforded by the weather of the South or the West. I'm glad I had stayed awake for it.