A Desperately Needed Break

Well, in the middle of another busy and hectic week, I got an email from my friend Ed.

It seems that Ed had left his dog Jake with his sister and their family while they were all dealing with the hospitalization of their father. Ed had to make a trip to the Twin Cities to pick Jake up, and he had something to drop off at my house (I will describe later). Since Ed was traveling from Duluth, Mn - we decided to make it an afternoon.

Ed arrived around 9 am, and I welcomed him in just as I was finished rebuilding our kitchen phone.

The phone is an AT&T 1817 corded wall phone with a built in answering machine. Over the last few years this phone had gone from bad to worse (from use by a large family). The ringer volume switch is broken. It was painted with "white-out" by one of "the five", the (answering machine's) volume up and down buttons no longer worked, and as of yesterday, the delete message button got stuck on, and would delete messages after you played them back.

Being the "Jack of all trades - Master of none" that I am, I am not afraid of the disassembly of small electronic appliances. In fact, I sometimes amaze myself on the things I have been able to repair / restore / "bring back from the dead" over the years. I have made "electronic repairs" on the circuit boards of a fried police scanner, baby monitor, a couple of CB radios, numerous AM/FM radios, and video games. This morning I had disassembled the entire phone, and began cleaning all the "mechanical components" (buttons, carbon contact membrane, levers, and switches), and then I carefully cleaned all the "white out" from the phone. I was in the process of reassembling the phone, and hooking it all back up when Ed arrived.

It was great to see Ed, and he was looking "none worse for the wear" for all the stress that he went through last week. We got to catching up with everything that was going on, and he brought out a "WAY TO NICE" birthday gift he got for me.

One of the reasons Ed came down to the Twin Cities (referenced above) was to deliver an "ultra high quality hand crafted toddler bed" that he made. After searching out a toddler bed for his daughter, Ed decided that he could make a better one on his own. As always, when Ed does something, he does it well! That meant that Ed needed a couple of new tools to build the bed correctly. After explaining how much he spent for the materials, and to the tools, I suggested that he make a couple of extra beds to sell on eBay or Craigslist which could use to pay off the extra cost of the tools. Ed did just that. He made one additional bed (so far). With my "computer skills" - I agreed to create a sheet of "assembly instructions" for him, get some good photos, and I'll see if he wants to try and sell this bed via Craigslist here in the metro area (since it's already down here). If this works well, I believe he is planning on making, and selling a few more. Who knows, this could become a cottage industry!

The bed is unbelievable. It is what I would call heirloom quality. This bed will outlast both Ed and I - and, I believe, will outlast his daughter, and his daughter's children. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is nothing short of breathtaking.

After some visiting, unloading & oogling over the toddler bed, and a little more visiting, we ran to Rademacher's Grocery and picked up our "regular" lunch staple - Ambassador wieners by Wimmer's Meats (drooling "Homer Simpson style"), and Bushes Onion Baked Beans. We got back home, BBQ'ed the wieners, cooked the beans, and poured a couple of Long Island Iced Teas.

Life is good.

After lunch, we returned to the garage, (or what Ed likes to refer to as "Man Central") and proceeded to fire up a couple of vintage premium Colorado/Maduro Petit Perfecto Ashe Cigars (These are no longer produced, and are ULTRA RARE!). We both agreed - they were MOST EXCELLENT! The garage smelled great!

Once the cigars became nothing more than a lingering taste, smell, and memory - we wandered around the yard with Molly (our cairn terrier) laughing at (well, at least Ed was laughing at) the sprinkler heads that Molly has dug up, the holes she has dug into the yard, the trees she has "peeled" the bark off of, and other miscellaneous doggy mischief she has gotten herself into.

By this time, I needed to get ready to leave for work, and so, Ed headed out to get his dog Jake, and I headed out to work. This was the first day this week that I went to work not feeling overly stressed. It was refreshing!

We had a great afternoon doing - NOTHING. We hung out just like old times. It was a bit breezy and cold, so we spent much of our time just hanging out in "Man-Central" (the garage),

Today was truly a "Desperately Needed Break" (see the title of this entry).


  1. Great post Dave, it sounds like you need to relax a little, considering how stressed you were the other day when I was working with you...

    One question "and poured a couple of Long Island Iced Teas." and then "had to go to work" in the same post sounds interesting??


  2. Bill, it's all in the timing.

    Perhaps that's why I was so much more relaxed yesterday!


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