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construction and currants

Wow, it feels like a long time since I have sat down to tell a story. I have been really busy in my construction life. I am managing a couple of building remodel projects at Colorado State University. CSU starts the projects when the students leave for the summer. The projects need to be finished when the students start fall classes. We have been in a last minute push because the students arrived last Thursday. I could be wrong, but it looked like most of the students were sporting a couple of new tattoos and maybe a new piercing. (Just an observation, it has nothing to do with the story) One of my projects was adding an additional set of doors to a building called the Ram’s Horn. The Ram’s Horn is a cafeteria with décor that would rival any restaurant in town. It has a waterfall, a Mongolian grill, big TVs, a pizza oven, salad bars and drink stations. The only thing it didn’t have was two sets of doors. Apparently, the building gets cold when three thousand students a day leave the doors open when they come in to eat. Apparently, when the building was built in 2004 the winter wasn’t as cold as today and the architects were not worried about open doors. Aren’t those Colorado winters something? My other project is reconfiguring some office space in a building that was remodeled to reconfigure some office space in 2008/2009. Yes, these planners are educating our children! I do appreciate the work, though! These projects do allow me to work with the low bid subcontactors. Low bid subcontactors? These are the companies that can do their trade cheaper than anyone else How? Sometimes they do their job better and faster than anyone else. However, most of the time they messed up their bid and will need to cut a corner somewhere. This is really a weird economy for construction. There are not a lot of projects to go around. This forces companies to bid every project that comes along. Contractors are getting as thrifty they can. The really thrifty ones can get multiple projects. What happens then is contractors get multiple projects that they really do not want because they had to be really thrifty. Wow, even I’m confused. I guess it is best summed up by saying it is really hard to be happy about doing a project that you know you cannot make enough money to allow for profit. Here’s a ranch story that has everything. I need to start this story by bringing everyone up to date on Colorado grazing law. Colorado is a “fence out state”. This means if someone wants to raise cattle or other livestock on their property and you as their neighbor do not want cattle on your property, you must fence OUT your neighbor’s cattle. Most people build fence to control their own herds, but not all. We have a neighbor with about forty head of cattle and no fencing of his own. Most of his property is surrounded by his neighbors fences, but again, not all Several times each summer, this neighbor needs to be called to get his cattle off the county road or someone else’s property…I have called him myself twice this summer. Everyone in Monner’s family was in town Saturday. The twins and I were helping Elaine in the store. Ivy was in town to hit a couple of yarn stores and go to the SAME Harry Potter movie she watched a couple weeks ago. (Did she forget the plot already?) I forgot to mention I took Girl Twin to get her hair cut. When I got back to the store this is what I heard. Elaine: Why didn’t you tell Karen to cut it shorter? Me: Why didn’t you go and you could tell Karen yourself? Elaine: It looks nice Me: I’m not going again, I’m not falling for that Ivy was the first one to head back to the ranch. Ivy and her friend rounded the last curve before arriving home and noticed a strange truck in our pasture. Apparently,. the “fence out” law applies to picking currants also. A man and woman were picking currants in our pasture. Ivy asked them to leave. The male currant picker informed Ivy should “get back in your car, and get on down the road. Ivy stood her ground exclaiming she was Monner’s and Elaine’s daughter and he was trespassing. The man told Ivy, “Hey, I’m Mr. P$%^ (the guy with the cattle and no fences). I didn’t realize I am on your property. The rest of the family was headed home. Ivy went back to the house to call my cell phone. She shared the conversation with me that she had just had with our neighbor. We have lots of currants on our property and we don’t mind someone picking them. I think they should ask. This guy told my daughter to “get in her car and get down the road.” Oh-oh, I have a problem with that. I forgot I was a senior citizen. (Didn’t Toby Keith do a song about this?) I needed to get home before this guy left I met him on the road just as he was leaving my pasture. Me: Did you tell my daughter to get in her car and get down the road? Mr. P$%^: Well, yes I did and I apologized to her for it. I want to thank you for calling me that my cows were on your property, both times. Did you see the county put in a new cattle guard? That should help. I think the phone line was buried in the cattle guard. Your sure are a good neighbor. I didn’t get to say another word. Our crazy lives! Monner

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