Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Argyle Experience

The sale this weekend was interesting and fun. It was my inaugural attempt at a craft sale. My sister-in-law Peg invited me to participate in the 27th annual holiday sale at Argyle High School where they average 600-800 attendees. We went down Friday afternoon so were able to nip over to the Argyle HS to set up at 4 PM. Bob was drafted as main supporter/set-up personnel # 1, so accompanied Peg and me there. All kinds of HS kids were there to help carry, which I thought was wonderful. We immediately discovered we really needed another table, so sent Bob to Dave and Peg's farm (5 miles S/W of Argyle) to get that and my mother’s old wooden clothes drying rack. He’d looked around at other booths and also came back with 2 buckets and a board which we set up as a shelf and covered with a tablecloth on the back table of our “U” to give us a little height. We put all the chenille scarves on the drying rack and it really showcased them nicely. I’d found a wrought iron tree with adjustable flat “branches” at a flea market, so we hung the knitted scarves on that, spread the purses and spoons on one table then filled in every other space with Bob’s trivets and my leaf pictures. Bob had made some great signs so we taped those up and zipped off home to go out for a tasty Friday night fish fry in Woodford, WI.

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Peg and I didn’t go to the sale until 8:30 the next morning since it didn’t start until 9 AM, but discovered the snow overnight was drifting badly and the roads were pretty slippery--not a good omen--plus the wind chill was horrendous. We’d only been there 5 minutes when 2 of the other exhibitors came over and one bought 4 knitted scarves (cheap pays!) and the other bought 2 purses, so we felt pretty good about our prospects. We waited for the big opening rush. In past years they’ve had people lined up in the parking lot around the end of the school, panting to get in. At 9 AM the doors opened…and 5 people came in! That was the rush. People trickled in all morning, but, unlike past years, the place never filled and there were lots of observers vs. shoppers. (Usually, I guess, it’s hard to make it down the aisles, but people could have bowled down them this year!). I can’t tell you how many compliments we got on the chenille scarves and how clever people thought the beaded-handled spoons were (a couple people suggested they’d be great for folks with a handicap or arthritis, which I thought was a wonderful idea, so mentioned it to several other shoppers) or how many people told me the purses were so beautifully decorated and just great…and then they’d wander away without buying anything! I think the sucky economy zapped us royally, but we did sell several purses, various scarves, a couple spoons and trivets, and a few leaf pictures (one lady bought one, and said to her husband as she left “What a score!”, which at least made me feel good) so had some sales at least. No booth did a booming business, but most people sold something. After we packed up at 3 PM, we returned to the farm for a pleasant evening with Dave and Peg.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Willem Climbs the Mountain

Willem learned he could climb stairs and enjoys doing it. Yet another skill freeing him to roam under the watchful eye of mom and dad. He's also "be-bopping" to music.

Click below to see the climbing movie.

Wollersheim Winery Tour

While spending the Thanksgiving Holiday at Brian and Erin's they treated us to a tour of the Wollersheim Winery. We were all surprised to learn that the day we were there it was a special tour day and we were able to sample most of their wines and some excellent cheese.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A new hobby - Geocaching!

I have a new Hobby -- Geocaching.

Here's a YouTube video from Explore the Door. Learn more about Door County and Geocaching in this Geocaching Video

Roger and I did a bit of it today. My new hand-held GPS arrived yesterday so we went to Best Buy for a road trip and located three caches on the way to and back. Before heading out we downloaded the cache locations from to the handheld Garmin. With the unit turned on we left for Best Buy and located the first cache in the park behind the school. (See #1 in first photo whioch is an aerial image of where we live and the surrounding area.) After leaving Best Buy we traveled to the park by the Mall and walked up the hill into the woods to locate the second (#2). The third was near the swimming pool (#3). The GPS "tracked" all of our movements. After getting home I downloaded the "track" to MapSource on my computer. Then I asked MapSource to display the track in Google Earth - and that's where I got the pictures you're seeing below. By zooming in closer and closer we get more and more detail of the track - note the second photo is a close up from the right side of the top image.

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The map below from shows the caches around Eau Claire. Note the smiley faces as they are now logged on my geocaching account as found.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mike Moszer's Apprenticeship Begins

Today, 6' 4" Mike Moszer begain his cabinetmaking apprenticeship in my workshop. He has completed 2 hours of a 120 hour program. Mike now has an introduction to nail guns, the compound miter saw, Kreg pocket hole connections and biscuit joinery. The project was adding 4 inches to the height of Mike and Sandy's new vanity to make it easier for him to reach the sink. A little stain and a few coats of poly and it'll be ready for installation.

Friday, November 7, 2008

ECCC - A Dream Realized

In January 2008 I was asked by the Eau Claire Curling Club (ECCC) if I'd be interested in building an entertainment center to include a TV, fireplace and display cabinets for the club viewing room. Preliminary drawings utilizing commercial kitchen cabinets had already been completed, but the board was looking for other options. This caused me to recall the six months club members' spent building a significant amount of the current curling facilities during the late summer and fall of 1995. At the time, club members' dreamed of a TV and fireplace along the north wall.

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During building construction the gas meter was placed just outside that space in anticipation of the dream's reality. In addition, over a number of seasons, Friday night mixed curlers developed a modest fund earmarked for just such a project. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to design and build this cabinetry and be part of fulfilling that 13 year old dream.

My design goals focused on creating a "WOW" experience people would encounter as they entered the viewing room of the club as well as make the piece part of the much needed change in the institutional look of the space. During the next few months, research and quotes were obtained for the gas fireplace and several iterations of the design were prepared in SketchUp - a 3-D modeling software - for review by the Curling Club board and a variety of members.

Gary Kucho, another curler and architect (who usese SketchUp for his work) assisted by preparing a 3-D view of the entire curling club facility. I inserted the proposed cabinets into that drawing and prepared several views for final approval of the ECCC board and the Eau Claire County committee responsible for the County Exposition Center (AKA - Curling Club). With the season ending in March the project was on hold until the 2008-2009 season.

With approvals in hand, including recommendations for additional doors for the TV cabinet and door locks, the 12' x 10' project began during the first week of September. The projected completion date was November 1 - just prior to Open Houses for the new season. During the summer a friend and fellow curler announced he'd like to assist and learn about cabinet building. I couldn't turn down some help, but wasn't sure if our definitions of "help" were the same. Turns out that Ron King's definition far exceeded mine as he was there almost every day during the eight weeks of construction and installation. He was a tremendous help and a blessing in disguise as this project, like so many, took on a life of it's own. A special thanks to Dave Wallace and Roger Kees for their assistance as well. During the off season, one of the fireplace bids became obsolete as the retailer closed. An additional bid was obtained and ultimately became the club's choice. During construction, additional research was done on the latest LCD - TVs and it was decided to move from a 42" to a 46" which required design modifications as space was limited.

The project was installed during the week of November 3rd and was completed in time for the Open House. The fireplace is operational and adds not only ambience, but a significant amout of warmth which will be greatly appreciated when its 20 below zero in January.

This has been a very large project but quite rewarding throughout its various stages.

Click on arrow to view slide show.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Trick or Treat!

Happy Halloween.

Although Willem couldn't trick or treat at our door, mom and dad had a special picture taken for the occasion. Brian has always loved hot peppers. They grow lots of them in their garden -- and then there's that cute one they call Willem. I think he's thrilled to be all dressed up for a family portrait.
We did have about 50 trick or treat visitors including a few adults without any special costumes. Nora was well prepared with candy and treats and her special pumpkin hat she wore this year. It was a fun evening and the weather was perfect. No snow or rain and no need for jackets to cover those cute costumes.

Sandy (Kees) Moszer stopped by with Toby and Talia. Aren't they cute!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Willem - October 2008

Grandma and grandpa visited with Brian and Erin and Willem over the weekend of October 17-19. Willem was quite entertaining, as usual. Check out the slide show and the Willem Anthology video below. Click on arrow to start slide show.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Windows Installation

This past weekend I joined Marc and his father-in-law, Tom Albold, in a project to replace windows in Marc and Amys home. We managed to install 12 windows on Saturday. Tom removed all the originals and interior stops and Marc and I followed behind and installed the replacements. These custom windows all fit perfectly, thanks to Marc's measurement accuracy. A great weekend project with lots of potential for warmth and savings. No more plastic on the windows! ...and a super crew to work with. Who ever said "I don't do windows"?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Fuller Zoo Visit

On Saturday, October 4th 2008 the seven Fullers (and three dogs) had a family gathering at Marc and Amy's. Our special outing was to the Minnesota Zoo near Apple Valley, MN. Of course Willem was the star, along with the outstanding zoo and all the animals we got to see up close and personal. A beautiful Fall day with family - It just doesn't get any better.
Click on arrow to start slide show.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Marriage of Mike and Lori

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On Saturday, September 20, 2008, Michael Fuller and Lori Scott tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony followed by an awsome reception. The marriage rite was captured on "film" by expert videographer Marc assisted by Bob. The full-length DVD was released in select cities (Mike & Lori get a copy) on September 26. Previews below are just a brief glimse of this very special time in the life of two terrific people. Call Mike & Lori immediately to make your reservation to view this limited edition video. Time is running out and seats are limited. If you call before midnight tonight they will furnish beer and brats. Operators are standing by...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Brother's Railings

Brother Charlie was visiting for the weekend while Grace visited with some book club friends at Garmish in northern Wisconsin. As brothers who seem to need a project to keep us out of trouble, we decided to modify our deck and staircase railings and spindles for our upper deck. The project kept us very busy, but we managed to get all the uppers completed. A hugh THANKS to my big brother who I really enjoy working with on projects like this.

The stair railings are still to come...

The lower deck will be completed next Spring with the materials gained from demolition of the upper rails. Then some fresh paint and we'll be ready for our grandson, Willem to crawl all over the deck.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

RW Open 2008

The Golfers
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The 6th Annual RW Golf outing was held over the Labor day weekend in Door County. Check out the history of the gathering and previous year group photos at the RW web page. This year we had 5 foursomes at the Orchards in Egg Harbor on Sunday followed by a picnic dinner at Pat's home. New traveling trophys were presented to the men's and women's winners as well as the high scorers. Check out the photos (slide show) of the winners and a few others. Saturday at the lake was loads of fun punctuated by an emergency operation on the waverunner to remove a tow rope it swallowed. This was all documented in photos (slide show) also.
A special thanks to Pat for all the work and time that goes into making arrangements and preparing for and serving the Saturday and Sunday evening meals. To Mary and Joel for all their work associated with the RW Golf Outing and to everyone who contributed to an enjoyable time for all -- Thank you!
Below are the RW Golf winner's listings...

The Traveling Trophys

Men's - Rick Fuller 81
Women's - Mary Anthony 92
Men's High - Bob Klimpke
Women's High - Lori Scott

Certificates were awarded to the winners defined below.
The rules indicate that in the event of a tie, anyone who has already won something in any category yields the tie to those who have not.

#2 Closest to the pin in 2 - Louie Roder
#4 Longest drive in fairway: Men - Rick, Women - Betty
#6 Closest to pin in 1 - Mary Anthony
#8 Shortest Drive - John
#9 Longest putt, Women - Pat Fuller
#11 Longest putt, Men - Marc with an incredible 57' 11" (Thanks to Charlie for the new putt measure devices)
#12 Lowest score - Joel Anthony
#14 Most putts - Jeff
#16 Lowest score - 6 way tie - Joe Lucas and Mike Fuller awarded
#18 Highest score - Denny

Click on arrow to start slide show.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Willem Visits Grandma & Grandpa: 8.22-24.08

Picture of Willem and Grandpa by Brian Fuller

Willem "Mr. Enthusiasm" Fuller spent the weekend with Grandma and Grandpa. Brian, Erin and Hayden came too.

William is a morning person and an enthusiastic talker. See him in action below. See more of Willem at Watch Me Grow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

TV Cabinet Project

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With the recent purchase or our 46” flat panel HDTV came another woodworking project to house this monster. After numerous iterations and drawings we decided that simple was best and cabinets with doors were no longer the project direction. The photos tell the story. All sheetrock was removed from the columns and half wall. The columns were covered with maple with cherry trim. The back wall is cherry.

The cantilevered shelf under the TV is cherry with cherry trim and lacewood accent.

Speakers and cabling are hidden behind a black fabric framework which provides easy access.

The TV is mounted to the half-wall and can be easily repositioned for varying viewing situations. A small area of maple floating floor replaces ceramic tile once needed when our fireplace stove was located there. The bright spot in the ceiling is a light tube that replaced the chimney (that was another project). Cherry is used as trim between the carpet and maple flooring. Rope lights under the upper and lower shelves provide subtle accent to the project. A special thanks to Dick Beckman for all his help and suggestions during this project. Brian and Erin for the lacewood gift for father's day - perfect timing. ...and of course Roger and numerous other friends who reviewed the plans and made suggestions.