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Welcome to our February 2008 newsletter.

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I am pleased to announce that Don Duncan in Louisiana is the winner of Wil Wheaton's newest book, Happiest Days The Happiest Days of Our Lives.

Don, if you are reading this send an email to me with your address, I will forward the book for you to enjoy. For anyone wanting to purchase this little book of great reading, follow this link to Wil Wheaton's blog. Past readers will remember that Wil is an actor (Gordie in Stand By Me: Wesley Crusher in Star Trek, The Next Generation), now an actor/writer or writer/actor and one of the first people to publish a blog.

On February 29th I shall randomly pick an email address to win a wall mounted chin up bar. No, not the kid, just the bar.

Jim in Texas did not claim his prize last month so I will pick an email address and we shall have two winners on Feb 29th. One for the chin up bar and one for Wil Wheaton's JUST A GEEK

Of course, if Don does not open this letter, the prize pool will grow even larger.

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I was shopping at Smart & Final and came across something that I had heard about all my life but had never tried. Hot Jambalaya. I decided to give it a try.

Zatarains

I picked up a box of Zatarain's New Orleans Style Jambalaya mix and a pound of hot Italian Sausages and boy was I in for a disappointment. I cooked the sausages and followed the directions on the box for the Jambalaya mix. Of course, as my Mother taught me so many years ago, I tasted the dish as it was coming along. It was GOOD! I know, I know. I was not supposed to open the cover of the pot while it was cooking, but I mean is was damn GOOOOD!

Just as it was finished, I received a phone call from someone wanting to know about buying some custom size bar stools. I told David and Joaquin that dinner was ready and spoke to the customer for about 20 minutes.

When I went back to the kitchen to sit down to consume the fruits of my labor, what do I find? An empty pot. Nothing, nada. Not a grain of rice. Just a dirty pot and two smiling guys saying "Boy, that was GOOOOD!

Off to Smart & Final to buy another box and some more sausage. Well worth it. I not only got to enjoy the whole thing myself, I even had enough to take to the factory for lunch the next day.

Zatarain's has a web site zatarain.com where you can find great recipe ideas, other products (I tried their Red Beans and Rice but am afraid to try their Dirty Rice Mix {what the heck is dirty rice?}) and where you can actually purchase directly from them.

They also have reduced salt mixes for older guys like me that worry about their blood pressure. Try some of their products while sitting on my bar stools and really enjoy your life.

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Last month I was speaking about Pal, my exchange student from Norway. I heard back from Pal with a correction about the location of Tromso.

Hey Bill
it was fun reading your observations from my arrival almost 25 years ago. Most of it was correct, even though I did play soccer- But I was with the fotball boys working out so I was in good shape that time more than now....Tromsø is more than 500 km north of the artic circle. Thats why we have no sun for almost 5-6 weeks in winter and nice midnight sun through summer.
I was at that time thankfull, and still are about all that we got to experience that year. Even I maybe was a bit shy to respond more

PÅl

Northern Lights
The Northern Lights over Tromso, Norway

It is difficult for me to believe that it will be 25 years this August since I picked Pal up at LAX. I am really looking forward to seeing him again and to meet his family. Rolf and his girlfriend will also be coming, however I have seen Rolf and his family on many occasions since he was an exchange student with me. It must be at least 10 years though since I have seen him. Time sure does not stand still.

We do not normally get too much rain in Southern California, but when it does rain, it can really come down. Usually it will rain for a day and then call it quits, making us worry that we shall run out of water until the next time the clouds appear.

As usual, it was nice for the Rose Parade on New Years Day. However right after that we were hit with three storms in four days, dropping more water in those three days than we had all of last year. At times, it was raining over an inch an hour.

Our factory is located right next to some railroad tracks near downtown Los Angeles. There is a construction project to put an overpass over the tracks. The project started in July and will finish up in December 2009.

When I went back to the factory to re-open after our winter shutdown, I found that there had been a mudslide from the construction site. We lost four days before we could get back into production. This is a photo of one of the construction trucks stuck in the mud three days after the storms subsided.

Stuck in the mud

Sema Construction truck stuck in the mud a week after the storms ended.

Stuck in the mud

Hmm! Chain will not do it.

Stuck in the mud

Giant Forklift to the rescue.

A young athlete, Jason Vicente, purchased some Plyometric Boxes from me last month. In the Newsletter next month there is going to be a link to one wild workout. I think that everyone who is into fitness will be amazed at the video and will pick up some great ideas for exercising. Be sure to look for it next month.

From dirty rice to dirty mud, that does it for this month.

I am always eager to hear from the visitors to the site and the readers of this newsletter.

Click on this link to send an email to me.

Until next time, paraphrasing Charles Osgood, I will see you on the Internet.

Bill

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