Monday, September 28, 1998


So I'm in the men's bathroom of the place I've been working at for the past week, the place that takes me an hour and a half to get to zipping along at seventy five miles an hour, and as I'm drying my hands I take a close look at the towel thing on the wall. It's one of those rolling cloth dispensers where you pull down on the towel to get to the clean part. On the side of the dispenser is a warning: "Use on hands and face only! Any other use is dangerous!" What's up with that? How else can a person possibly even imagine using the contraption?

As I arrive at home that particular evening I notice a wire hanging down from the power line next to my garage. I maneuver my car around it not knowing if it is live or not. I wasn't sure if it was part of the power line, a telephone line, or a cable line. But to see something dangling from a source of power (no Monica jokes please) is a rather ominous sight but I was too tired to think about it. I knew enough not to touch it tempting as it was. I go in my house and call NSP who tells me they'll send out a crew and I was very smart in calling it in. I go out for dinner and when I get back home the wire is still hanging. I call NSP again and they say there were several power outages in the area and a crew will get out as soon as possible. It's a perfect example of letting (or not letting) a customer know of the status of the service call as to set reasonable expectations. Had I been told my first call that it might be late into the evening or possibly the next day before they could take care of the problem, I wouldn't have worried so much. But worry is my middle name and I did more than enough for a small sized community. Danger is always just around the corner.

I had dinner that night with my favorite Pioneer Press reporter and her husband. They fixed me a swell meal consisting of crackers and cheese for an hors d'oeuvre (GOUDA!) and pesto with a nice home made sauce on top. For a guy who is satisfied by a meal of Spaghetti'O's and whose best friend told him she didn't see him as a pasta type guy, I must say the meal was terrific and I was greatly impressed. A 1995 red wine from Italy? For moi? Get out!

We talked about movies, music, families, and politics. And the love of our lives. I learned how as a youngest child I shouldn't date other youngest children, that my ideal spouse probably would be the elder child (that explains a lot). It was a theory I never had heard before. And the lawyer husband also told me that he had gone to the State Fair and saw the butter carving exhibit (competition?) and he learned it was tradition for the models of the sculptors to take their likenesses home, freeze them until their wedding day and then use their butter busts for the wedding reception butter condiment supply. Thus another stipulation for the future Mrs. Maeda (sign up now girls!) is to require her to provide an award winning butter bust that we can use in our wedding day ceremony.

The next night I went to my final Twins game of the year, a 2-0 shutout over the Indians (or the Cleveland baseball team as the politically correct Star Tribune likes to call them). It was good to see Mr. Radke pitch a nice game after a horrible second half of the season. It was also fun to get a glimpse of Mr. Koskie and Mr. Mientkiewicz who will play a part of next year's team. In the fifth inning we were given a bite size Salted Nut Roll by one of the members of the Twins' staff. While it was a nice unexpected gesture, I sure hope this wasn't this year's version of Fan Appreciation Night. Thanks anyway Mr. Pohlad. And thank you Mr. Molitor (who didn't play this particular evening) for a most wonderful career.

And did any of you catch Wednesday's Cubs' game in which Sammy Sosa hit two more home runs but the Cubs lost in the ninth when Brant Brown dropped a fly ball? After the game was over Brown violated the rule Tom Hanks so passionately stated in A League of Their Own: "Baseball players don't cry. There is no crying in baseball..."

The next night I decided to wash my bath mat. As I went downstairs after the wash cycle was complete I saw that the rubber backing on the mat had disintegrated inside the washing machine. So I spent the next fifteen minutes cleaning out the inside of my tank. And there are those out there who think my life isn't very exciting.

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