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Ramblings of an improvident lackwit

Season of Giving

18. December 2007 | Category Personal, Work

With Christmas just a mere week away, I finally faced one of my fears and donated blood. No, not a vial for something med tech at the clinic. Nope.

This time is was a genuine contribution to the Red Cross. Albeit a dare of sorts. I think I convinced a co-worker that if she signed up for direct deposit of her paycheck, I would do it, as she bugged me about donating.

This is substantial on two fronts. First because for the better part of two years I’ve been trying to get said co-worker to sign up for this. She ‘said’ she handed in the form…. I’m doubting it because she laughed so as she was telling me this.

The other obstacle was that I am not particularly found of needles and the joy of having one stuck up my arm was not grand. I made a point of not looking at it because of it.

But I made it. I got a bit woozy and nauseous when I sat up, so they made me hang out for a bit before moving much. That coupled with getting a ice pack to the eye, really made for a memorable first experience.

I know it’s good to give, but it’s debatable if I’ll give in the future….

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Christmas Letter 2007

13. December 2007 | Category Personal

Warmest season’s greeting s to you and yours as we finally get a healthy dose of winter and all the joy it brings.

Linda went out to North Carolina this spring to watch Lynnea graduate from Duke. While there she picked up some rays at the ocean. She has also been busy helping James update the rental house. She had great fun moving Lynnea out of the house to her own place. As you can see, her life revolved around her kids. Linda hosted Christmas bake this year and got to spend some quality time with family and friends.

Michael had a good year as well. The highlight of his year was going out to the San Francisco area with his girlfriend this summer a week. They visited Yosemite, Golden Gate, Napa Valley, Alcatraz, the freezing Pacific Ocean and Silicon Valley. While in ‘the Valley’, they visited Yahoo!, Apple and Michael’s favorite Google. In June, he purchased his dream car, a ’88 Chevy Corvette. It’s been a blast to drive and make the heads turn. Michael has been keeping himself busy as of late with something new, tax classes. He is learning the intracies of the income tax code so that he can prepare personal tax returns for a firm in New Ulm.

After graduating from Duke last fall, Lynnea began a position as a pediatric nurse practitioner. She is currently employed at South Lake Pediatrics in Plymouth. She lives in townhome in Prior Lake, but plans to move further into the metro area this spring to be closer to work. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends and babysits for a few families in the metro area. She just returned from a trip to Las Vegas and is busy planning more vacations for the year to come.

James has continued to expand upon his flock of poultry, adding some ducks, chickens and geese. He has also enjoyed hunting. He ran his first demo car this year at the Sibley County Fair and had a smashing good time. Also keeping him busy this year was his plans on remodeling our rental house so that he could live there. James has learned lots about sheet rocking, mudding, caulking, painting, plumbing and insulating as a result of this. He’ll be happy to finally be done and moved in sometime soon.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Piotters
Linda, Michael, Lynnea & James

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Accomplished.

12. November 2007 | Category Interests, Personal

Recently completed two major life tasks. One involved eBay and the other Mensa.

The eBay feat was more of a co-inky-dink. Having spent considerable sums of money buying and selling on eBay since a pre-historic 1999, I’ve finally obtained a Turquoise Star. This is eBay rating for a 100+ positive rating. Even more impressive in my book, is that I did it without a negative review about me as a seller or a buyer. That probably means more to mean than the 100+ rating, but it’s still nice. They sent me an email with a fancy little certificate that would go great as plaque or framed accolade.

The other recent feat took a bit more brain power. Mensa has always had that geekish-nerd calling to me. Having pondered how to get into it since high school, I finally talked with some members at the Minnesota State Fair. After taking a pre-test and being given a discount to join by the sister’s boyfriend for National Testing Day, I decided to pull the trigger on this deal and see if I could get in. So after a 3 hour test which really included 2 tests,each in it’s own right an intelligence, one the infamous Wonderlic Test (the great football genius test). The test went good and all, with a bunch of similarly aged kids trying to see if they had it as well.

Just last week, I got a letter from Mensa. It said I passed. That’s it, you’re in. No score, no numbers. That was a bit anti-climactic, but being in the 98th percentile should be good enough I guess. I was told at the testing for a score, the proctor would have to be licensed to give a score by the state (i.e. psychologist) and such. Bummer, teachers aways had great pleasure in handing out scores, good or bad, but I guess they were paid to unlike our proctor.

So two such neat accomplishments in such a short span feels good, now I’ll have to go after a few more things on the list….

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Short engineers

15. October 2007 | Category Observations

How is it that short people occupy the most important jobs in the world? How many years did it take the brilliance of General Motors engineers to realize that not all people in the world can see the high beam light on their vehicle when the steering wheel is tilted upwards and is fully blocked from the view of the driver?

I assume this is only a moot point if you’re under oh, say, 5’8″ and don’t need to tilt anything other than the mirrors to drive to heart’s content.

I’m not placing all the blame on GM. The rest of the world continues to discriminate against those NOT vertically challenged in an endless myriad of countless ways…. some of which I may get to in time….

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Stuff

16. September 2007 | Category Observations

Another way to resist acquiring stuff is to think of the overall cost of owning it. The purchase price is just the beginning. You’re going to have to think about that thing for years—perhaps for the rest of your life. Every thing you own takes energy away from you. Some give more than they take. Those are the only things worth having.

Excerpted from Paul Graham

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