Christmas 1999

Greetings

Happy Holidays to one and all. Global Warming appears to be back again this year.  Even in early November, we were playing in temperatures in the upper 70s.  We are trying our best to enjoy this.  The "experts" are predicting  lots of snow this winter (about double our normal accumulation).  So far, we seem to be experiencing a drought.  But the season is just beginning.

Family State of Affairs

So lets start with the big news. Diana, again, captures the big news of the season as she will join the Prior Lake High School Marching Band in celebrating the new millennium in London, England.  The rest of us are a bit jealous.  Diana is asking for your prayers so the Y2K bug will extend her trip (as she is expected to return on January 2nd).  If this is not your prayer, she is suggesting  a car - or money to buy a car - or even floor mats and fuzzy dice.

Mark continues to work for BFGoodrich Aerospace in Burnsville. There is a strong effort to change the name of the company so the upper management can spend less time explaining that the company sold the tire business to Michelin many years ago, but somehow kept the name (as well as sold the rights to the name at the same time).  Wanting the world to know that we are primarily in the aerospace business, the company has chosen our new name: "Inrich".  Yep!  Totally intuitive to casual person in a deep mind-altering state of conscienceness.  The "In" stands for Innovation.  How many of you guess that?  And the "rich" is to retain the rich legacy of the name that is associated with tires.  I am sure there were many high-paid consultants involved here.  But Mark would like you to know that the opportunities to improve the world are plentiful at BFG and he is keeping busy.

Diana is working.  Her resume is bursting at the seams - with Webbers Orchard, Real Productions, Lynn Temporary, KB Toy Store, and even some baby sitting.  She has successfully entered 11th grade, still plays in the school bands, reads, and even squeezes in a bit of girl scouting activities.  Even some of her friends think she is acting like an adult.  Ooh!  There is hope.

Erik is in 6th grade.  He plays baritone (even got into the jazz ensemble).  And he is deep into the Pokemon philosophy of life.  Not that Power Rangers are bad - but he seems to accept that there appears to be alternatives.  Besides, the Power Rangers don't seem to have their own card game.  Erik is active in boy scouts, too.

Laurel has entered the exciting world of OEM parts for heavy machinery.  Yep!  A job change and she gets to apply a vast assortment of skills from farm machinery, computer and telecommunication skills, and best of all, her natural gift for bossing people around.  She is the HR Manager for MinnPar, a supplier of parts for construction machinery.  We are talking big stuff: Fiat, Allis Chalmers, New Holland, Massey Ferguson, White, etc.  Her job includes keeping office machinery running, hiring & firing the labor force, and planning the company parties.  Obviously, this job fits Laurel like a glove.

Dad & both children went to the MAGE wargaming convention in Sioux City.  Erik started off a bit slow (his first game was canceled) but finished up with 2 trophies and a door prize of a sword.  Not some little trinket either.  Erik is still smiling.  Diana drifted off into the mysterious world of Society in Shadow.  She was joined by my cousin's twin daughters.  The Glewwe clan was well represented at the Con.  We should win some award for domination - if not excessive attendance.

We have a new puppy - Xena: the warrior dog.  I thought of another term for a female dog, but Laurel thought it was not for pleasant company.  Anyway, Xena was obtained from the FFA at the Freeborn County Fair in Albert Lea.  $10.  What a deal.  Especially if you consider the "pound of flesh to the dollar" ratio.  She is half black lab and half Rottweiler.  At 6 months, she is pretty much a match for Spot.  Shadow has not really gone beyond a nose-to-nose stand off.  Strong dog, too.  She has broke her collar (steel choke chain) and her tie-down chain.  Mark has upgraded to a 305 lbs. test chain.  He has a logging chain if this doesn't do the trick.  We fear we will see the dog chasing the Schwans truck with the dog house being pulled along right behind her.  Ahhh!  The joys of country living.
 

Seasonal Humor

Christmas is just around the corner so here are some gift ideas for those special men in your life!  Buying gifts for men is not nearly as complicated as it is for women. Follow these rules and you should have no problems.

Rule #1: When in doubt - buy him a cordless drill.  It does not matter if he already has one.  I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you can never have too many cordless drills.  No one knows why.

Rule #2: If you cannot afford a cordless drill, buy him anything with the word ratchet or socket in it.  Men love saying those two words.  "Hey George,  can I borrow your ratchet?"  "OK. By-the-way, are you through with my 3/8-inch socket yet?" Again, no one knows why.

Rule #3: If you are really, really broke, buy him anything for his car.  A 99-cent ice scraper, a small bottle of deicer or something to hang from  his rear view mirror.  Men love gifts for their cars. No one knows why.

Rule #4: Do not buy men socks.  Do not buy men ties.  And never buy men bathrobes. I was told that if God had wanted men to wear bathrobes, he wouldn't have invented Jockey shorts.

Rule #5: You can buy men new remote controls to replace the ones they have worn out.  If you have a lot of money buy your man a big-screen TV with the little picture in the corner.  Watch him go wild  as he flips, and flips, and flips.

Rule #6: Do not buy a man any of those fancy liqueurs.  If you do, it will sit in a cupboard for 23 years.  Real men drink whiskey or beer.

Rule #7: Do not buy any man industrial-sized canisters of after shave or deodorant.  I'm told they do not stink - they are earthy.

Rule #8: Buy men label makers.  Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere. "Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink."  You get the idea. No one knows why.

Rule #9: Never buy a man anything that says "some assembly required" on the box. It will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.

Rule #10: Good places to shop for men include Northwest Iron Works, Parr Lumber, Home Depot, John Deere, Valley RV Center, and Les Schwab Tire.  (NAPA  Auto Parts and Sear's Clearance Centers are also excellent men's stores.  It doesn't matter if he doesn't know what it is.  "From NAPA Auto, eh? Must be something I need.  Hey!  Isn't this a starter for a '68 Ford Fairlane?  Wow! Thanks.")

Rule #11: Men enjoy danger.  That's why they never cook - but they will barbecue. Get him a monster barbecue with a 100-pound propane tank. Tell  him the gas line leaks. "Oh the thrill!  The challenge! Who wants a hamburger?"

Rule #12: Tickets to a Vikings game are a smart gift.  However, he will not appreciate tickets to "A Retrospective of 19th Century Quilts." everyone knows why.

Rule #13: Men love chainsaws.  Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw.  If you don't know why - please refer to  Rule #8 and what happens when he gets a label maker.

Rule #14: It's hard to beat a really good wheelbarrow or an aluminum extension ladder.  Never buy a real man a step ladder.  It must be an extension ladder.  No one knows why.

Rule #15: Rope.  Men love rope.  It takes us back to our cowboy origins, or at least The Boy Scouts.  Nothing says love like a hundred feet of 3/8" manilla rope. No one knows why.
 

Looking Back over the Year

Laurel & Mark went off to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta in early October.  Mark found a business excuse and Laurel came along for a wonderful trip.  The evening balloon glow is wonderful.  The breakfast burritos had their moment too.

Of course, Erik celebrated his 11th birthday in Disneyworld in January.  Laurel's folks joined us for a wonderful time.  His birthday dinner was at the Rose & Crown - a British-style pub.  I believe he ate prime rib.  Oh!  This kid knows how to celebrate.  Prior to Disneyworld, we stayed over in Daytona Beach.  Other than a slight inconvenience with a tornado passing over the hotel, the beach and the brief stay made us think there really may be more to Florida than Disney theme parks.  We must explore more of the state in the future.

Oh!  Just to ensure Laurel & Mark are getting older, we both attended our 25th High School Class Reunions.  Enough said!

This year, Laurel picked up 5 turkeys to raise.  Originally named after N'sink, one fell prey to suicidal tendencies, but the other four grew very well until November 1st, when a man in a white coat cut short their feeding frenzy.  In honored memory, we are having them smoked.  Yum!

At an overnight boy scouting event, Erik won the longest distance for a rocket.  The downside was it went so far that no one could find the rocket.  Something about "it went way up there, the parachute opened, and the rocket floated way over into the forest".  The good news is that he has lots of engines and igniters for the next rocket.  He is suggesting that anyone is looking for a last minute Christmas present ... rockets would be good.

The annual apple pressing continued with another 110 gallons.  We drank 10 gallons as juice - and another 10 found their way into Mark's fermentation kettles.  The Oktoberfest was canceled due to maternal concerns.  As for brewing, this was the year for entering and winning awards.  Even took 3rd place for honey wine (Mead) at the Minnesota State Fair.

Wishing you Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control; against which there is no law.

The Glewwe Family in Prior Lake
Mark, Laurel, Diana, Erik, Spot, Xena, Shadow, and Tweetie

P.S.  FYI - we are wired.  Our e-mail address is glewwe@millcomm.com and our World Wide Web site is http://homepage2.rconnect.com/glewwe/.  Diana can be reached at "diana@millcomm.com".  Spot's campaign is "http://homepage2.rconnect.com/glewwe/spot/index.html"