Monday, June 30, 2008

Gone Fishing!

I'm outta here!

Off to the UP of Michigan.
"Mom, It's like we're on another planet!"
We'll be spending time at my Dad's place on a lake.
Cell phones do not work.
Internet service? ... Yeah, Right.

Just some good 'ol fashion R&R with my boys
....Oh, and we will be catching a fish or two.

Here's the beast we caught 3 yrs ago.
Matthew and Jacob were so proud and excited.

What's your summer vacation plans?
(Winter vacation plans for those southern hemisphere fans)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One Dirty Job Helping to Release the Past (part 2)

Recap: We began with "Tammy" and her newly aquired investment property in need of a clean-out (and a bigger dumpster). The attic was finished first (click here) ... so on to the basement portion of this project

The before and after pictures:

Tammy had told me in the beginning that the old woodburning stove in the basement was going to be listed on ebaY. During the entire project, as I came across items that might be ebaysaleable (it's a word now), I would set them aside.

Tammy ended up with:

  • a nice collection of cross country skiis sets with poles
  • wooden highchair
  • several old glass jars and soda bottles
  • some sort of unused scooter
  • an antique seamstress dress model thingy.

The items I placed curbside seem to be disappearing as I quickly as I set them out. Hopefully the items will be put to good use in their new homes.

TWO dumpters later, Tammy's property is cleaned out of all the old past stuff left behind. The house looks and feels soooo much better.

Me ... I was one grubby looking, sweat dripping puppy. Probably should have had Tammy take a picture of me. Boy, I love getting so dirty you have to really scrub the mud off.

When was the last time you got really, REALLY dirty?

Monday, June 23, 2008

One Dirty Job Helping to Release the Past (part 1)

Kinda felt a little bit like Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs on a recent project.

With the housing market as it is, purchasing a home for real estate investment is probably never been better. Homes are sold for bargin prices, add a bit of remodeling and you've got yourself a nice investment. You can sell it for a profit, or rent the home for continued income over time.

But ... the first thing that you need to do is clean it out of the stuff left behind from the previous owner. This is the continuing story of "Tammy" who hired me to clean out a home she recently purchased for investment.

Here are the before and after pictures from the attic:

These areas were covered by paneling innocently leaning against what was thought to be walls:

During this project, I was very respectful of these belongings. They had served their useful purpose decades ago and I sensed something everytime I entered the attic. Most items were placed into the dumpster, though there were a few things placed curbside to be collected and used by others.

Tammy's attic is all cleaned and swept out. Lots of extra wood was found which she can use to refurbish the home to match the trim.

As I write about this project, I get an odd feeling, though I know the work I did was appreciated by more than just Tammy.

Have you ever experienced poltergeists?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Happy Day!

Apparently the feeling of optimism caused by the combination of lighter evenings, the prospect of holidays and memories of childhood summers is at its peak on June 20.

According to the research this has been worked out using the equation:

O + (N xS) + Cpm/T + He

O stands for being outdoors and outdoor activity
N is connection with nature which is in full bloom now
S is socialisation with neighbours and friends
Cpm stands for childhood positive memories
T is the mean temperature which is now usually warm
He is holiday expected.

The formula was compiled by Cliff Arnall, a psychologist and former tutor at Cardiff University who said the main aim is to 'get people talking about what makes them happy'.

Note: Arnall is also the dude, an expert in depression, that decided that January 21st is the gloomiest day of the year.

I don't know if there is something to this, BUT.....
I wasn't too happy on January 21st.
And I am super, duper happy now.
Hmmmm....maybe there is something to Cliff's formula?

Get out there and enjoy the weekend!

How you feeling about the start of summer?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Um ... Were Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

That's exactly what I thought as I moved a piece of paneling that was innocently leaning against the wall in an attic. The paneling was not leaning against a wall, it was blocking a pile of stuff left behind from the previous owner of a great home now owned by "Tammy". Not a bigger boat though ... a dumpster.

Tammy had met me at a Women's Entrepreneurial Network(WEN) meeting. During our introductions she heard me state:

"I'm Angie, owner of Organized Solutions,
and I help people throw shit away!"

I don't say that all the time, every now and then. It's fun, something different, and my hope is to get people to remember me.

Well, Tammy remembered me
and now I'm helping her get rid of a ton of shit.

Here's the dumpster before:

And 7.5 hours later we have this:

I'm thinking we may have another load not quite this much. The before and after pictures of the attic and basement will come when the project is completed later this week.

What's your favorite quote from a movie?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lucille Ball vs. Rachel Ray

These questions are from
my bloggin' friend, Soul.
We're just going to jump right into it:

Name 3 things in your refrigerator:
Chocolate milk (not mine), eggs and spinach

What's your current relationship status?
Single and dating this really, really great guy

Ever have a near-death experience?
Oh Yeah - stage 4 cancer at 22 years old

Name an obvious quality you have:
Obvious? I have great deep, brown eyes.

What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head right now?
"Brickhouse" It's my new ringtone for friends. I have different ringtones for different groups of people.

Any celeb you would marry?
Been there, done that (marriage that is) ... no.

Who will cut and paste this first?
Leasa, or Cheryl, or JYankee ... no pressure ladies

Has anyone ever said you look like a celebrity?
I client recently told me I reminded her of Rachel Ray, though a friend said I reminded her of Lucille Ball. I Love Lucy!! (nothing against Rachel mind you)

Do you wear a watch? What kind?
Nope. Never have.

Do you have anything pierced?
only my ears.

Do you have any tattoos?
No Way! I do not like needles

Do you like pain?
Only if the pain is from something good

Do you like to shop?
No, I hate shopping.

What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
I gave my boys quarters to buy gumballs.

What was the last thing you paid for with your credit card?
Dinner at The Blue Nile in Ann Arbor ... yummy Ethiopian food!

Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?
Great guy mentioned above (not sure if he is ready to be named here)

What is on your desktop background?
View of the Carribean Ocean in Cancun

What is the background on your cell phone?
Jacob's mohawk
(His own design. He's quite creative with hair.)

Do you like redheads?
Only if they are fun and happy people and they are nice to me, too. (that goes for everyone I know, too)

Do you know any twins?
Yes, my brother's wife

Do you have any weird relatives?
HELLO?! How boring would life be without weird relatives?
Yes, of course.

What was the last movie you watched?
Kung Fu Panda - EXCELLENT!

What was the last book you read?
"The Lorax," to my boys.

Is there such a thing as "love at first sight", or it is more likely to be "lust at first sight"?
I've taken part in the 'love at first sight' bit.
Now, I'm pretty much into the lust part.

What's your favorite book?
"The Lorax," by Dr. Seuss

When was the last time you visited the street where you first lived?
20+ years, no need to go back there.

When was the last time you googled your own name?
probably a month ago

What was/is your favorite subject at school?
Physics - OK I'm a total geek. The stuff I learned in there was wild. It is amazing what you can do if you understand the physics of any challenge.

Do you like having your photograph taken?
Absolutely. CHEEEEESE

What time were you born?
Wednesday, 8:15 am - I had to know for something and now I just remember it.

Ever seriously questioned your sanity?
No. Why? What are you trying to tell me? Well, maybe ... yeah definitely maybe ... OK, absolutely YES!!!

How many phone numbers do you have remembered and can say off the top of your head?
3 - my home number, my cell number and my mom's home number

Can you limbo?
Oh yeah!

Have you ever killed your own dinner?
I have caught many fish, though I cannot clean the fish to eat them.

How long have you been living at your current residence?
2.5 years

What phobias do you have?

What's your ideal breakfast?
Breakfast in bed made by my boys.

Where are you right now?
In my office.

What's the longest time you've stayed out of the country/where?
3 weeks - Israel. Can I just say there is no place like home!

Why do you blog?
Partly to show my projects, part to help people to know me better and part to get drifting thoughts out of my head.

What would you call your autobiography?
Adventurous Angie: Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs of One Crazy Chick

It's the weekend!!
Get out there and have some fun.
Me - I'm completing my open water,
SCUBA diving certification.
That's right ... I will be certified.

Whatcha doing this weekend?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thank You Oakland County FOC

My former filed me in contempt for essentially signing Jacob up to play soccer this Spring (as he did in the Fall). Again I was not found in contempt of court. I am still happily stunned by this decision and have waited to say anything until I received the paperwork showing this to be true.

Thank you Oakland County Friend of the Court!!

The work you do is difficult, "ugly" and thankless so very often. As frustrating as the system can be, I commend you for the service you provide.

I'm sure my boys would thank you too if they knew what had happened (I kept them oblivious to this drama). Jacob just wants to play soccer and Matthew enjoys scouting. Thank you for allowing them to continue.

Who do you want to thank for their difficult job?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hiding Behind Smokey Glass

Sometimes you have to be a little tricky to get the job done. After getting "Michelle's" storage room organized, next we needed to work on her conference room cabinet.

It was functioning as a means to store reference binders. Which was all well and good, though I suggested we frost the glass and use the area for Michelle's company promotion items storage.

The intent was not to completely block the view into the cabinet, just to soften the appearance a bit. To do this you cut the window cling product to size, wet the glass, then place the film into position. Squeegy the film to the glass, smoothing out bubbles along the way and ... wah la, frosted glass. There are several different textures to choose from. I use the crackled glass on my bathroom windows.

After sorting through Michelle's supplies in the storage room, her promo items were in a few different boxes. By placing everything in one spot, she now knows what she has and what she needs to order. When there is a meeting in her conference room, people will not be distracted by the stuff in her cabinet.

What little tricks do you use in life?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

OMG ... Look At What I'm Wearing

These videos were found in one of my dresser drawers. They must have gotten tossed in there during my move in ... um ... Nov 2005.
I know, Ms. Organizer here has stuff squirreled away too.

Anyway, the videos are from my product design engineering days at Ford Motor Company.

Video #1: 1997 - Integrated Spare Tire Storage System
I had to design a spare tire stor.....oh, just watch the video. Laugh at the clothes I have on (I was told to wear something plain, ugh).
I did get a US Patent issued.

Video #2: 1998 - One Piece Blow Molded Bumper System
This was a sweet project! We ended up submitting it for the Henry Ford Technology Award (the holy grails of engineering awards). Two more US Patents issued for this project. We made it to the finals. Alas, we could not get production to sign off, so the submission was pulled. Yeah, that's me inspecting the bumpers at about 7 months pregnant (still 2.5 months from delivery).

What evidence of a job you had 10 years ago is lingering around your home?

Monday, June 09, 2008

*** View For One Day Only ***

My friend, Kat, calls me up and asks me to apply to be on The Amazing Race with her. "Sure, why not," I said. We wip this little video together while spending a few hours in Ann Arbor, MI (the half way point between our homes).

Here it is for one day, then private viewings only:

From Kat's phone call to the application package sent, took about 1 week because that's all we had before the deadline. I love working underpressure when the effort is toward a positive outcome.

What spur of the moment fun have you had lately?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

SOS ... Scary Office Storage

"This is just bad"

This is the storage area at "Michelle's" office. It is also where her clients must walk through should they need to use the bathroom. Looking like this is not the ideal appearance, Michelle was hoping for.

One of the first things I noticed was this shelving unit that was not using the space efficently. These plastic shelves are OK. They are bulky and I realy don't care for them. I LOVE these MuscleRacks!! And this one fit perfectly into this corner. You can load up to 1,500 lbs per shelf. The shelves are adjustable so we were able to keep access available to Michelle's electrical panel.

We were able to combine the two plastic shelves into one MuscleRack system with plenty of room to spare. Moved around her computer system, file cabinet and paper recycling bin to create a huge walking area. Now, when a client steps out of the restroom, this is what they see. What a difference!

This is the entry door to the storage area. Originally it did not open completely. With the shelving unit gone and the items behind the door stored on the new shelf, The door fully opens and the room has a neat orderly appearance.

Most businesses have workrooms or storagerooms that their clients typically do not see. Though there are times when your clients will stumble upon them. Make sure all areas of your office have some sort of order to them. You want to project the best, possible image. People understand a working enviroment, though one with bags, boxes and parts scattered about haphazardly may raise an eyebrow on your professionalism.

What scary business area have you stumbled upon?

Monday, June 02, 2008

Lost In Space

Warning! Will Robinson, Warning!

Lost In Space such a classic cheesy TV show that began in 1969 (WOW! yet another reason that is perhaps the greatest year ever. Save that thought for another post)

As I worked with "Dave" he kept making space references as we organized his basement.
"This is like a black hole of stuff"
"These books seem to just orbit around this house."
"I just want to launch this stuff out of here."

These space references got me thinking ...
what has been lost in space?

Unfortunately, the past 45 years of space exploration have generated a lot of junk!

Space junk can be anything from hatches blown off space modules, paint fragments from the space shuttle, or satellites that no longer work. Man-made debris orbits at a speed of roughly 17,500 mi/hr (28,000 km/h)! Think of the damage even a small speck of paint could do if it hit a spacecraft at such a high speed!

This is an image of the junk in space around our beautiful earth. There's even an Orbital Debris Program Office in NASA. This is the space garbage department for our world.

Good to know that Russia, Japan, France, and the European Space Agency have all issued orbital debris guidelines.

Here's a close up shot.
Look at all the stuff circling up there!

The top 10 items circling our lovely planet:
1. A spare space glove
2. Spatula - making eggs in space?
3. Bags o'trash - darn Soviet Mir cosmonauts
4. Camera
5. Toothbrush - definitely time for a new one
6. Pliers
7. Nuclear Fuel - leaking Soviet satellites are driping fuel
8. A rocket - seems NASA forgot about a rocket from 1969
9. A pen
10. Bolts - bet there are some loose screws floating around too

What's been lost in your space?