Thursday, May 20, 2010

How to impress your mother-in-law

Each night, Susan will ask me what I want for breakfast. I had mentioned recently that I didn't like eggs much, whereas she does. That surprised her but now she's worried about what I haven't enjoyed. Last night was the discussion how she gets up to cook me breakfast and then packs me a huge lunch (this was the only request I made of her when we got married because for years I watched my dad rummage for something/anything to eat/pack because my mom didn't do this for him). And then she has to spend the day planning and making dinner. And we wondered how food controls our thoughts.

I remember my mom had this large cupboard. It was hinged to fall downward, at waist level and in our home it was filled with dry milk/powdered milk.
We would use the scoop to bring out a measure of the milk and then added a gallon of water. No, it wasn't nice-tasting milk but it was all we had. It tasted like chalk or variations thereof.

Years later when we had more money perhaps (or maybe this was just my mother's quirky way to economize) we graduated to Carnation dry milk in a box. That was high class. That was name brand! It didn't taste much better but it was more palatable. It did help to pour it over the mush we'd have almost every day. We were also given canned milk (evaporated) to pour over our mush.

For a real treat, in concert with my older siblings, we'd steal away with a can of sweetened condensed milk, sharing it to the full, slurping it straight til it was gone...and then we'd pass out in ecstasy.

In 1971, while visiting my future wife in Ohio, there was this tall, slender glass of ice cold milk at my place setting at the table. I put it to my lips. It was like heavenly choirs singing. I glugged it right down, and slammed the slender glass down hard on the table. My to-be mother-in-law was startled and before she even sat down saw that my glass was empty. She had offered me more and then I realized, "ohoh...faux pas". I looked around as if to say, "the cold mug made me do it!"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Employment History


Currently I am working Greg Dziadon's job because he is out on medical, recuperating from prostate cancer surgery. I am also his vacation replacement as well. My own boss, Angelo Ciu, has had medical problems and has dealt with them admirably.

I will probably have to work on Sunday again and Susan asked, "Again? Why?" I mentioned to Susan, that I hoped Greg and Angelo do, indeed, return to work. Otherwise, I may find myself in a job position I do not relish. I have been in the Bar Mill for all my days at the mill since 1973 so why would I want to go somewhere else.. I am doing the job of 6 guys right now in the Bloom Yard and the Billet Yard. But every job I have aspired to, I have not gotten, yet I still have remained employed.

As I've learned from these past experiences, things never work out the way I wish. After working there for 5 years, an older foreman retired and there was an opportunity to become a Straightener and Saws (finishing) foreman. I said to the division manager that I was interested in being considered for the job. He said, 'ahhhhh, you were actually never considered." And I said, "Oh, have a nice day." heheheh.

Then about the time of the strike (mid '80s), I said, "Hey I would like to be a maintenance manager (millright, electrician, welder, a fixer in other words)." And they said "No, you can go back to Finishing. At that point in time everyone was saying Finishing was caput, that it was going down the tubes, that there was no need for a manager there.

The more I think about it the more experiences I remember....same results.

Back when they started to put in the Rod Mill to replace the straightener and saws area, I applied for Inside Salesman, working out of the old YMCA building. Didn't get that job. Stayed with Inspection.

Then when George George was around and we were revamping things with retirements and cut backs, he asked me if I wanted to go to Shipping or stay with Inspection. I said, "No." It was my choice and as it turned out, the Inspection job was done away with so I ended up going to Shipping.

Then when I wanted to stay in Shipping, the world economy took a tumble about 18 months ago and I had to go back to Finishing. Then when I wanted to stay in Finishing they sent me to the Bloom Yard.

Is there a lesson to be learned from this? Yes, there is. Take what you get and don't throw a fit, to quote Connor and Dawn.

Who knows what path I will be on soon. But what I do know that I have been watched over and lead to so many areas within the mill that by now I can do many jobs. That has worked in my favor so far...but you just never know what the future holds. For now, I have a job and can provide for us, as I have been able to do with the kids were young. And for that I am so grateful.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tea with the Tudors

I've been reading this remarkable book about The Tudors (by G.J. Meyer). I've renewed it repeatedly. Then for my birthday, Marissa and Hank gave me this mug. Surprisingly it has Henry VIII on it as well as his wives printed on it. The fun part is when I drink 'tea' with the Tudors (or Hot Cocoa as is my case), the heat of the liquid will make the wives disappear as they did in Henry's time.

Other Tudors are: Henry VII, Edward VI, Mary Stewart, Elizabeth. Henry VIII was a very bloodthristy man...chopping people's heads off when he didn't like them. He changed the whole religious scene in England and inadvertently pushed along the Reformation.

My interested started back in 9th grade when I had to type a report. I was in Seattle visiting my sister, Julie. There was nothing for me to do other than listening to women talk. Julie had a book on monasticism and I started to read it. From then on, my interest in anything old, medieval, post medieval, European piqued my interest. Henry VIII is one of the most famous kings so when I saw this book at the library I picked it up and started reading it.

The mug is perfect! It has the same picture of Henry VIII on it as is on the mug. This is mug which I will be sure to keep and treasure...not to mention which I also intend to keep. Thanks Marissa and Hank.