What's the old cliche...31 teams are disappointed at the end of every season?
This doesn't have anything to do with masonry, but we are a Wisconsin company, full of longtime Green Bay Packers fans ('Packer' fans, that is, if you're from around here). And in spite of my anguish in their failing to get past the Niners this afternoon, I'm thankful for another exciting year, some of the most heart stopping football I've ever seen.
This goes back more than 40 years for me, a skinny little squirt glued nervously to a black and white TV. Dad watches the first half, maybe into mid-third quarter, to the point where our beloved green and gold - or grey and light grey - is three scores down. While I'm mentally conjuring 'touchdown, interception, touchdown, onside kick, field goal', here comes the death blow: "Same team always wins," as Dad exits the room. Sure, in the end, they usually did lose those games, at least when down like that. But not always. And By Great Caesar's Ghost I was gonna watch it until the bitter end, continually recalibrating hypothetical winning scenarios like an early GPS unit recovering from a series of bad turns.
This is a team that somehow has always kept my interest, unlike others - shoot, entire sports...I'm looking at you, NBA - that lost me decades ago. I can't be sure why they've endured while everyone else evaporated. Having the best owner in the NFL, maybe all of sports, doesn't hurt; compare Green Bay's arrangement to instead having a team run by that fella in Texas (who coincidentally was on the short end of one of the true highlights of this season). Is it the team's history? Sure, maybe some. Though as a kid, I'd just missed the end of the party, so their legacy didn't mean much to me. If anything, I hated hearing about it; I just loved the team, just as they were. I'd accepted that the Packers were never going to really compete post-season, and certainly weren't gonna get to a Super Bowl in my lifetime, and NO WAY could they win it all. But I still watched every game. And then one Reggie White came along.
I could go on, and on, and on. That same little kid meeting Erik Torkelson, as he made an appearance in our tiny town's tiny drugstore. Into adulthood, Packer Central, as our bachelor house was known, with mighty celebration or breaking of glass, depending on the outcome. Narrowly escaping serious injury at Soldier Field. Failing to avoid same at County Stadium. On and on.
I guess for now I'm just gonna be happy to have had that gasping-for-air-down-the-stretch feeling one more time. Couple of drops this afternoon? Sure. Couple of inches from blocking that kick...whatever. All good. I'll even spare you my short list of now-hated opposing quarterbacks (hint: two members rhyme with Shmaepernick and Farkenton). After all these years I'm forced to admit I still love when this team wins, and I suffer when they lose. But there is no shame in today. This was a valiant effort, by a great team with key injuries that still almost pulled it off, and a superb staff, and a fantastic stadium full of fans that I can only hope are all saying the same thing: NEXT year. ~ by Karl Zarling
And I'll cry if I want to. Repeat, etc.
Nope, no tears at the DAM Christmas party. Unless you count streaming tears of joy upon eating Lisa Anderson's dinner she prepared.
We don't have a lot of pictures to share here, but know that it was a very nice time for everyone there, and a much needed chance to blow off a little steam prior to family holiday adventures. These guys and gals have really had noses to the grindstone for a while now, and with a very busy winter and spring approaching, this break will be a short one!
Oh, and kind of a fascinating story behind the song: "It's My Party". ~ by Karl Zarling
Gene Rayburn asks, extending that crazy-long microphone stalk, "This brick is so unique (Audience: HOW UNIQUE IS IT?!), the masons were forced to smear it with 'BLANK'?" I'll give you and Charles Nelson Reilly a moment to ponder this, while Dawson scribbles down something just naughty enough to still make it to network.
Yes, I've dated myself, but it's a fun memory. And this chimney stack recently dated itself a bit, in both the physical size of the existing brick and its very unique finish. Our client had reached out to us for repair of the chimney's cap and quite a few courses of hard to match brick below that had deteriorated over the years, and this is a good example of DAM's ability to solve a unique challenge, even in this small job.
After a little searching, our friends at County Materials ultimately came up with some of the now-forgotten brick size, in a couple of colors that were at least close kin to the existing brick. It was then up to DAM to do some creative spattering and slathering to the surface to attempt to blend with the rest of the veneer that was not requiring replacement. Longtime in-house brick guru Pat Janzer and all the guys did a great job, as usual, and it turned out pretty well! Nice job, great client, and good result.
Now, please stay tuned for The Gong Show. ~ by Karl Zarling
Not everything at DAM is pretty houses. Hard hats, and eye and ear protection was the theme today as the guys pounded away on a large commercial renovation.
Approaching 100 workers were at this site when I dropped by, and what could have very easily been complete chaos was instead a pretty orderly affair, considering the sheer number of bodies and machines scurrying around the collection of buildings.
Dale Anderson himself has been our lead on this job, and in rare form and (mostly) good spirits. Maybe it's the shouting over machines, or the scale of the job. Or just maybe he's most comfortable with a hard hat and a mission, down in the trenches, knocking it out with his hardworking employees.
Regardless, let's hope Dale genuinely enjoys this one, cause we've got a pretty sizable apartment building coming up that's going to make this feel like a practice swing! ~ by Karl Zarling
Hey business owners: sometimes a little curb appeal with your signage can make a real difference in your perceived image and brand. In other words, nice sign good, cheap sign bad. "But my work/product/service is excellent, I don't need no steenking sign." Okay. But wouldn't it be a shame to lose potentially great clients, simply because you're not taken seriously from the street? Some people drive by your place twice a day, five days a week...over 500 impressions a year. Why not make them good impressions? Just sayin'. ~ by Karl Zarling
Seriously, yeah, it is. Here are just few pics of a job that the guys are getting close to finishing up. Such a unique home and design, and so many beautiful, interesting touches, also thanks to a terrific builder and architect/designer.
The stone veneer...what can I say. In keeping with the stunning design, this is very much a custom blend; DAM was asked to seek out a particular tone of rock to complement the rest of the chosen stone's color family, and we acquired it from a vendor in another part of the state.
It takes a fearless homeowner with vision, and teams of great players to produce something this pretty, and we're proud to be a part of it. ~ by Karl Zarling
For your viewing pleasure, here are Paul, Chris, Doug and Tim working on what promises to be quite a lovely bluestone patio. Or more accurately, one of three, on this exceptional home...on which the crew also did the stone veneer (pics in post above).
This is pretty painstaking, meticulous work. Multiple products are used, with precision stone cuts made on site. Beautiful. ~ by Karl Zarling
Here's a smashing example of a custom outdoor fireplace and bake oven hybrid that the guys built. Love it. The homeowners have completely transformed their patio...really beautiful. ~ by Karl Zarling
Doug and Tim recently brought young Miller Park Jr. to finally meet its long lost daddy. Right, so it's a pizza oven that they built to look like the stadium...and it's pretty cool. And no, we're not selling these things, but hey, they know how to have fun! ~ by Karl Zarling
Dale Anderson Masonry has officially retained consultant and ne'er do well Karl Zarling as Operations Manager. VP Paul Anderson was concise in stating, "You know the old saying, why buy the cow when the horse is...you know what I mean."
Zarling has consulted with DAM for 8+ years as a technology adviser and marketer, and expressed his satisfaction at finally being "...made into an honest woman, or whatever."
Karl could not be reached for comment regarding comparisons of himself to a cow. He may be reached here to discuss DAM projects, or tired idioms and metaphors. Find out more things Zarling by clicking here . ~ by Karl Zarling
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