" /> Jethro's World: July 2006 Archives

« June 2006 | Main | August 2006 »

July 31, 2006

It was 4 years ago today...

Something wonderful happened four years ago today... something that has impacted my life in so many ways. That little blessing would be the arrival of my little buddy, Noah...


Also... today would have been my father's 61st birthday...

July 26, 2006

Road Trip Review

As Ruth so kindly reminded me in a comment below, it's [past] time to report on our little road trip to Canada. As I was finding photos to post, Noah came in and sadly announced, "Oh, I wish we were still at Canada"... so do I Noah, so do I.

For photos and a brief rundown of the weekend of July 14th thru 17th, please click the following link...

For a recap of the trip up, see the entry titled, On the Road Again...

Doug & Sandy arrived in time for us to eat supper, so we made the 30 second walk down to the local Ricky's. The rest of the evening was spent in the hotel room hanging out with the little ones.

Saturday morning I woke up at 6:00, of course; so I ran down to the continental breakfast for coffee... and then I waited for the rest of the gang to wake up. The wedding was at 3:00 pm, which gave us just enough time to check out the local shopping. The women were on a mission to find some updated duds for Dougie, so much of the morning was spent at the local Winners. Shopping really isn't my thing, but I was just happy that our young'ens could be together with grandma & grandpa.

After lunch from A&W (a one minute walk), Doug & Sandy headed off to the wedding. Steph decided it would be a great idea to walk down to the local park to see if we could find a playground. It actually was a good idea, but we should have brought the front-pack along with the stroller -- just in case Noah got tired... which he did... about a quarter of the way there. So we took turns giving piggy back rides for the half mile walk to the park.

Noah was a little reluctant once we found the park, but he eventually gave it a try. It ended up this was no ordinary park, but a water park. In the higher section of the water park, there were all kinds of pipes and fountains shooting water every-which-way. All of that water then ran off into a concrete 'stream' that slowly flowed under walkway bridges through the rest of the park... it was really very cool. The walk back was also very cool, as I had somebody's wet shorts on my shoulders the whole way -- but that's just part of being a parent, eh?

Steph & Noah playing in the water.

And then it was my turn... :-)

Once we made it back to the hotel, it was time to relax. I made another one minute walk for dinner, this time to a local pizza parlor. Then we played games until the rest of the crew returned from the wedding.

The view from our hotel window was quite nice.

The next morning, I once again arose around 6:00... and once again, I went down for coffee. I really wish I could sleep in!!!!

Once everyone was up and fed, we headed down to Fort Langley, a Canadian historic site. We never did make it into the fort itself, as the surrounding town was a lot to see in one day... there are antique shops, a toy store, museums, ice cream shops, etc. One of Noah's favorites was the BC Farm Machinery Museum -- a very down-to-earth, informative museum. It was well worth the price of admission.

Noah also liked the CN Railway Station in downtown Fort Langley, as it had a caboose and coach car that we could walk through. There was also an elaborate model railroad setup inside the caboose -- Noah could have spent hours watching that thing go!

Grandparents & grandkids at the railway station.

We had a little picnic in the park and then headed across the Fraser river for a scenic drive through suburbia. Then it was back to the hotel for a few rounds of cards (Dutch Blitz and Hand & Foot).

Guess what? I was actually able to sleep in Monday morning! I don't think I even made it down in time for the continental breakfast. We said goodbye to Doug & Sandy and then went to pack up our stuff. I did have to make a stop at Tim Horton's for some brekky and a cappuccino. You gotta hit Tim's before leaving Canada, eh?

We had a bit of a wait at the border followed by a close call on the freeway, but we made it home in one piece. We thank God we made it home safely, but we are sad that our time in Langley is through... it really was a lovely place to spend our holidays.

July 25, 2006

My Favorite Photo of Stephanie

I think this has to be my all time favorite photo of Steph. It was taken about 10 days after Noah was born... with a Canon digital camera that I had owned for all of about half an hour...

July 24, 2006

Get Rich Slowly

I have been avoiding this entry -- mainly because I think JD often spends too much time writing when he should be taking care of box business items -- but I have to put in a plug for my older brother.

JD is a writer... he has always been a writer. For as long as I can remember, he has written -- and written well. So it really was no surprise when he started keeping a weblog (back in ~2000, I think). Several of his entries received quite a number of comments, many of those comments coming years after the original entry.

One such entry, which was written back in April of 2005, was called Get Rich Slowly!. It discussed some of the key ways to achieve monetary wealth and prosperity, starting with some of the most basic steps (like getting out of debt). This entry was such a huge success, that he eventually decided to start a weblog dedicated to the topic; as well as an online discussion forum (than anyone can be part of). See the links below:

Get Rich Slowly weblog: www.getrichslowly.org/blog/
Get Rich Slowly forum: www.getrichslowly.org/forum/index.php

I'm sure JD would appreciate it if you payed these sites a visit. Read. Learn. Comment. Offer advice of your own. It's all good. :-)

July 21, 2006

A Little Warm...

It must be just about time for Noah's birthday party, because it is HOT again. It's hot enough that this post deserves it's own weather sticker...

Click for Canby, Oregon Forecast

Now where did I put my iced tea? ;-)

[Edit 24Jul06] The big heat seems to have gone... for now... but I will leave the sticker up anyway. We had 103 on Friday, close to 100 with high humidity on Saturday, and then back up over 103 again on Sunday. Today's 98 is still quite warm, but they are forcasting a minor cool-down for the middle of the week.

But next week is Vacation Bible School at church... and that always means one of the hottest days of the week... so I expect the heat to be back again.

July 20, 2006

Favorite Drink on a Hot Day?

If I'm doing a lot of physical labor on a hot day, I much prefer water over any other drink. But any other time, I will take a nice cold glass of freshly brewed iced tea.

We have a Mr. Coffee Iced Tea maker that we bought about 10 years ago, and we use it a lot during the Spring and Summer months. We find that six Lipton tea bags in the steeping compartment provides the bold flavor we like -- once we add some sugar and lemon juice, that is (but no mint for me, please). Mmmm... mmmm... ain't nothin' better on a hot day.

So, what do you like to drink when the mercury starts rising?

July 13, 2006

On the Road Again...

Tomorrow we leave for Canada... woo-hoo! I am so excited for Doug & Sandy to be able to see their grandkids again. Little Em has changed so much in 4 months... I hope they are prepared for her sweet smiles and cheezy grins. :-D Grandpa Dougie had better be on his toes with Noey around... he can be an ornery little guy. :-)

We won't be making the 20 hour trek to Wembley, AB this time, but will be meeting them in Langley, BC (a suburb of Vancouver). Doug & Sandy will be in Langley for a wedding, so we decided to make an extended weekend vacation out of it. We figure it should take us about 6 hours driving time to get there, depending on traffic and pit-stops (this will be our first time travelling this far with two children). If we skip out of Portland just after the morning rush, we should be able to get through Seattle before any afternoon rush... I hope!

Hopefully we will see more than just this on our road trip... ;-)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Well, after a fairly busy drive, we made it to our destination, the Holiday Inn Express at Langley -- in the very spacious 'Family Suite'. We are all very glad to finally be out of the pickup and able to stretch our legs. Unfortunately, Doug & Sandy had some mechanical problems [cough]Dodge[/cough] that set them back a few hours; but they should make it in time for us to have supper with them.

The kids did pretty good on the trip up here -- we only had to stop at two rest areas and an Arby's. Noah has always been a good traveller (he made his first 20 hour drive at 3 weeks of age), but he is still a little boy -- we kept track of the 'are we there yet' questions... here's the scorecard:

"Are we there yet?": 2
"Are we in Canada yet?": 9
"Are we at the hotel yet?": 3 (all asked once we had crossed the border :-)

July 10, 2006

What do I do all day long?

At a recent family gathering, my dear cousin Tammy (aka Mrs. Darling) -- who is snoopier than an old blood hound in room full of long-haired cats -- decided she needed to know what on earth we (JD, Nick and I) could possibly do all day long at the box factory.

Well, I can tell you what I do all day long, but I am not my brother's (or cousin's) keeper, so I will not attempt to speak for my business partners. As long as our customers are happy, our bills are paid, and we stay busy; I could really care less what goes on in the other offices. There are times when one of us is busier than another, and vice-versa. We all have our own responsibilities, head-aches, and frustrations; just as we have our own strengths and weaknesses.

There are plenty of slack times when we don't seem to have much to do; but, when the chips are down, the jobs get done. Should we feel guilty when those slack times come, and there's nothing more to do than surf the internet? I don't think so. We have all put in 15+ years getting the business where it is today, and we have earned the right to goof around every now and then -- as long as we aren't slow all the time, it is just fine.

So what could I possibly be doing all day long? Well, I'll tell you...

Here is what I did Monday, July 10th...

6:45 - Punch in. Check status of orders in production.
6:55 - Help driver unload empty pallets from our truck.

7:20 - Collect worksheets, write up packing slips for driver's first load.
7:25 - Write up rush order and take to shop with orders for tomorrow.
7:30 - Get new orders off of fax machine. Check prices, get worksheets, write up orders.
7:45 - Move our truck so Jose can unload supplier's truck (53' curtain van).
7:50 - Enter new orders into system (MS Excel).
7:55 - Fax confirmation of orders to customers.

8:05 - Write correct addresses on worksheets.
8:15 - Rush order comes in. Price, write up, enter, and take to shop.
8:25 - Print out map to Austen's Body Shop (for our truck driver).
8:30 - Another order on fax. Write up worksheet and order material from the mill (written purchase order).
8:45 - Write up packing slips for driver's next load.

9:00 - Read Gramma_s. ;-)
9:15 - Driver back from first load. Send him to Austen's Body Shop with truck. Follow him in the van and pick him up at Austen's.
9:50 - Back from Austen's... enter order into system.
9:55 - Check status of orders in the shop.

10:00 - Check out the Dishpan. :-)
10:01 - Discuss the need for a new stamp with JD.
10:05 - Discuss need for a new stamp with Jose.
10:10 - Short break... discuss Roth gathering with JD & Nick.
10:25 - Call Hiway Tire Factory... schedule appointment to fix leaky axle seals (Chevy van).
10:30 - Clean up garbage along the road and on the CBS 'tarmac'.

11:15 - New orders on fax. Call customer to verify dimensions.
11:20 - Write up worksheets and purchase orders.
11:45 - Fax purchase orders to mill.
11:55 - Enter orders into system.

12:10 - Fax confirmation of orders to customer.
12:15 - Begin making new training aids for driver (he's only been with us two weeks).
12:50 - Write up packing slips for the next load.

1:00 - Another order on the fax... track down worksheet.
1:05 - Fax confirmation to customer and enter order.
1:10 - Take lunch.
1:30 - Driver returns, has questions about training aid... discuss briefly.
1:40 - Customer needs a sample box ASAP. Take worksheet to shop for Jose to produce.
1:50 - Order on fax. Make worksheet, check price, order material.
1:57 - Enter order and confirm to customer.

2:05 - Go out to shop to check status of orders.
2:11 - Write up packing slip for rush sample (JD takes to customer).
2:25 - Toyota forklift rep. shows up with new ClearCap roof for our forklift. Discuss installation.
2:30 - Install roof on forklift.
2:48 - Driver done for the day... discuss next days deliveries.

3:15 - Jethro, out.

I would consider this to be a slower than average day, especially compared to what it was like in June. Note that on any given day, the following things could be thrown into the mix to create additional headaches (and keep me even busier)...

Equipment breakdowns
Truck breakdowns (or accidents)
Quality control issues
Employee discipline (typically performance or attendance)
Personnel changes (hiring and firing)
Lawns to mow (about 1 acre at work, and about 1.5 at my mom's)
OSHA related issues (safety)
Employee training (forklift, lock-out, etc)
Delayed material from mills
Making deliveries (if we are overloaded, or if the driver is absent)
Ordering of shop supplies (glue, tape, strapping, WD40, nails, pallets, etc)

So there you have it. My job no longer involves a lot of physical labor, but there are times when I do have to get my hands dirty. I do what it takes to manage the daily operation of a small business, and I have found that hiring good people and delegating out tasks is the best way to accomplish this. There are still jobs that I like to do my own way, but if a competent employee is available to do a job, I will pass it along to them. Some days I run around like a mad-man, trying to get things done; other days I end up surfing the net or shooting the breeze with my co-workers... that's just the life of a small business owner.

July 5, 2006

What little boys need... according to Noah.

The other day, Noah and I were talking about how I need my Leatherman with me in case I need to fix something. The following conversation ensued...

Noah: But, why don't mamas have a Leatherman?

Papa: I don't know. They'd probably be a lot handier if they did.

Noah: But, what do mamas need?

Papa: A whole lot of stuff.

Noah: Oh.

Papa: But, what do little boys need?

Noah: Little boys need someone to play with... and a lot of attention.

July 2, 2006

Early Summer Photo Journal - Part II

Note: There are four recent entries, so be sure to scroll down to see them all.

Click the following link for train ride photos and cooling off in the back yard photos...


July 1st, 2006 -- Hood River, OR

We told Noah that we were going on an adventure, and there would be a surprise when we reached our journey's end -- and that is all we told him.

We started out with breakfast & coffee at our local hang-out, BJ's Coffee (Noah and Emily are celebrities there :-). After breakfast, we headed out on our adventure... and just as we were pulling into Hood River, Noah asked, "Are we going on a train ride?". I don't know how he figured it out... he's just a smart little guy. After we found a parking spot, Noah proceeded to do a little 'jig' on the sidewalk while chanting, "I'm so excited! I'm so excited!".

Meanwhile, Stephanie and I watched our passenger's side front tire deflate before our eyes... I guess it was a good thing that we only bought two tickets, because Steph had her own adventure getting the tire fixed while Noah and I headed down to the train. At least there was a Les Schwab in town, and they were able to get her fixed up in a hurry.

Noah finally figures out what kind of train ride we're going on.

The real [fake] Thomas the Tank Engine...

Ready to roll out.

Me and my little buddy.

Listening for the sound of that lonesome whistle...


After the adventure, in our back yard...

The garden has changed a little, eh?

We should have a good pepper harvest... :-)

Noah was all excited to get his Spray 'N Slide pool out.

Did I mention it was hot?

Mama and Baby Sis preferred to just hang out in the shade.

Random Kid Photos

Mama had to do another photoshoot with little Em.

When kittens attack! :-)

Early Summer Photo Journal - Part I

We've had a busy first week-and-a-half of Summer... click on the following link for camping photos...


Fishermen's Bend Campground -- Mill City, OR

Sleeping angels. :-)

Hanging out with Uncle Greg.

Uncle Steve communing with nature.

Two Gregs sleeping... what else you gonna do on a hot day?

This is how Noah and his [second & third] cousins spent most of the weekend.

July 1, 2006


It's fun watching Noah and Emily interact with each other... they really are very cute together...

:-) :-) :-)