Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Painting Guy

Here's one of the guys from the painting we scored in Wisconsin!

I love the angular nose and beard. And those red tights!

Don't want to show all of the painting here.... You'll just have to come and check it out in person. (If you click on him, the photo will enlarge.)

Today is 82 degrees and I'm outside reading my new book called "The Joy of Pickling.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

I know 2 friends who have sons overseas, 1 in Afghanistan, 1 in Iraq.

We don't own a flag, and for the most part I don't feel so patriotic these days. But, the people fighting for our "freedom" certainly deserve more than they are getting from Washington.

I got to spend this day sitting at home enjoying my family and friends, and trying to figure out where stoves should go and such.

And it just makes me sad that those friends can't have that same kind of day...looking to do something positive with the ones they love. Instead, they spend sleepless nights worrying about if their kids will make it back alive.

The stress of opening a restaurant is nothing compared to wanting to have those you love back home. I have really nothing I should complain about.

So, I hope you all who have loved ones abroad will be back together with your family soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back from Wisconsin!

Just got back from Wisconsin, land of brats, Friday Fish Fry, lots of beer, and the Green Bay Packers.
Found an amazing Victorian painting from an antique store in Cederburg. It looks like it belongs in a museum. They didn't know the artist-it is signed and dated 1846 or so. It's perfect piece for the restaurant, though. We need to get it appraised from a professional, because I have a feeling it's worth a couple tons more than we paid for it. We also have to get it here from Wisconsin. Might involve a road trip......

Lots of highlights from the trip-Amy's brothers' wedding at the Kohler Art Center, lunch at Sheboygon Elementary School ( It was Grandparent's Day, but our niece Kelsey got special permission to have Amy and me join the kids for lunch). Lunch was everything a school kid would dream of-noodles, ham, creamed corn, applesauce, rolls and...chocolate milk! Can't remember the last time I was in an elementary school cafeteria. Awesome. Lots of ideas for our menu as well.. :)

Also saw George Carlin at the casino. At 70, he's still got that fire, and I am happy to say he has not toned down his show one bit.

Today I have to work on a "plan review" which I have to submit to the health department. I can hardly wait to report on this one.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Something cool from my sister!

These are 2 links to what my sister is up to these days! The chocolate figures she makes are incredible!


check out the wedding videos as well, they are so creative!


If the links don't work, try "Razor Byrne Productions in Google, that should do it.

Today's snag was .......plumbing! Nothing a few holes through the floor in a couple different places and ripping out the tile in the bathroom can't fix. Oh, but we're so close to having the construction finished, then on to the fun stuff everyone sees!

Oh yes-good times.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

The bad side

I can deal with the stress of the city permits, money, employees. What really worries me is the rock shows I will have to miss.

That is truly frightening....... So on that note, I'm off tonight to see the rocking fun that is known as the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

Can't stop the rock!

......tonight anyway.......

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

feedback, not just for Gibsons or Strats any more.......

Well, it just seems stupid that people can't send feedback w/o signing up for an account. So, if you feel inclined, 2 email addresses to choose from:



lord knows you have enough other things to think about.........

This Red Tape's Gonna Cost Some Green

Randall visits the Portland Develop Commission, pt. 1

12:30 sign in, drop paper in the box labeled "G"

12:45 get called, exchange goes something like this:

PDC (them)-So what are you doing?

RM-I need a 3/4" sub floor put down. And I put up a couple soundproof walls.

PDC-are you the contractor?


PDC-well , blah, blah, need signature of contractor or owner of building.

1:00 call landlord, fax form, he faxes back, needs changes, he re-faxes,

PDC-OK, go put sign in paper in box "B"

1:20, get called by new guy, re-explain everything, he makes copies of plans, OK, go put paper in "G" again.

1:35, new guy, re-explain, he goes over plans............said he wouldn't charge me, since he didn't have to "re-inspect" plans. I say thanks. He says go put paper back in "B"

1:45 or so.......waiting...some lady on her cell phone is talking so loud I want to punch her lights out.

And I'm not a violent person........

2ish-new guy. Looks plans over, discusses what needs to be done, he can't figure out history of building, so he methodically checks just about every case involved since 2002 or so. There are a lot of cases. He makes more copies, but this time we go over the 18" involved at the doorway in GREAT detail. And with red pen. This is the whole issue of why I'm here. 18 inches.

2:30, still going through records, he doesn't think it is zoned to be a restaurant. My landlord got his final inspection approval yesterday, I tell him. He thinks it needs sprinklers, and I'm getting a glazed look over me. I'm gettin fidgety at this point, but I'm trying to not have an attitude. He asks me lots of questions about previous place there, which I have no idea about. He says he needs some others to check this out. I hear people in the next cubicle arguing with the inspector or someone, not a good sign.
Checking more old records, still.....

2:45- 3 other guys come by his desk-each logs in, adds their fee to the permit, and leaves. This is the fastest anything has moved all day! 3 people!! 5 minutes!!! Awesome!!!

2:50, get permit and bill. Wait about 10 minutes to pay, which c r a w l e d by.

grand total for a sub floor:

building permit 54.00

fire and life safety review 22.00

bldg plan review/processing 36.00

bldg permit st sur (!, the hell is that?) 4.40

development services fee 15.00

fire bureau plan review-9.00

BES source control plan review 28.00

168.00 and change.

2 1/2 hours I'll never get back.

And this is the first permit so far! Awesome!!!!

Thanks for listening. I feel much better now.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

before and after

Main room before the love.

Keep an open mind, OK???

It's bigger than it looks here. Say goodbye to the fans and lights....and hello bar and booths. We also have a patio for those of us that need the outside sunshine when we have it. We spent the past couple days at Manzanita Beach, celebrating Amy's bday! I have a minor sunburn...as I spent quality time in the sun reading cookbooks, which is time well spent. I was so absorbed in the pages of the books, I forgot the rays I was absorbing.

Tomorrow is off to the city to get permits and "enlightenment" about what all I have to do.

One of my dad's best lifelong friends is coming down from Washington to paint the place! He's known me from day 1, (from Delano, California, where I was born... for those keeping score) and I couldn't be happier he is helping out on this little project. Ladies and gentleman, B.L. Foley will be in the house!

John and Rich, the guys who have been working on the building for months with my landlord, are jamming at getting the kitchen ready for the big stuff. Good to have the professionals working there.

Lord knows I don't know much about framing or drywall.........we all have our areas of expertise, right???

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


floors and windows and plumbing, oh my.

more on these fascinating subjects soon.

We love Mr. Plywood on Stark St. !!! Free wood delivery and great customer service. Makes me wonder why so many choose the big ole corporate places...........It's where Amy gets all her wood for those paintings as well!

There's the plug o' the day.