APRIL 2018 www.katconstructionllc.com (612) 326-1122
A Stuck Mower and a Chopped Power Line When You Work on Your House Yourself, Mishaps Are Bound to Happen
Though I pride myself on the quality of work my team and I at KAT Construction provide for our customers, while working solo on my own house, I’ve had my share of mishaps. If you ask my wife, she’ll chuckle and tell you that I’m scatterbrained. I’m not going to comment on that, but I will say that with the amount of time I spend on various projects around our property, things are bound to go hilariously wrong every now and then.
my hands up, got the four-wheeler, hooked it up to the mower, and dragged it kicking and screaming from what was apparently its new favorite spot. I have to say, I felt like a bit of a hillbilly. Although I felt foolish after getting the mower jammed in there, I’m no quitter. I took the gap at a different angle right away, figuring I had nothing to lose at that point, and I made it through without a scratch.
and proceeded to dig the line’s path 2 feet underground, even going so far as to cut across the driveway. Everything was going great, though it was difficult work. But for whatever reason, it didn’t cross my mind as I headed to the fusebox in the garage that it had its own, original power line running beneath the ground. When I started to get close to the garage, I suddenly hit a huge rock with the digger. Obviously, it was in the way, so I continued digging through the stone and
The first story-worthy mistake I made at the house happened not too long after we moved in last year. As I was cruising around the yard in my riding mower, I kept glancing at the big pair of trees growing side by side out front, trying to determine the best way to cut the narrow strip between them. I didn’t want to drag the push mower out of the garage, so eventually, I decided to just shoot the gap. Turns out, the mower was bigger than I thought. I was stuck. It would have been no problem if I could have just reversed the thing, but I was on a hill, making backward traction impossible. After way too many minutes of trying to wrangle the thing out from between the trees, my wife came
promptly cut through the power line it had been guarding, shutting off all the electricity on the property. Fixing it involved a wire-splicing job, and it was a task I didn’t feel safe doing myself. I called up a couple of my electrician buddies, and a few hours later, I was back in business, with my pride more than a little damaged. I’ve always loved working on the house as much as possible. Usually, this works out fine, but more than I’d like to admit, I overlook some tiny detail of a task that ends up adding hours onto the project. But, like I said, I’m no quitter. These mishaps aren’t about to hold me back, and how could I deprive my wife of the opportunity to make fun of me every now and then?
out of the house and started taking pictures with her phone. I’m sure she was gleeful at the prospect of showing off to the family my latest boneheaded blunder. Eventually, I threw
Another time, I was setting up an electrical line from the house to our detached garage, trying to get the electricity set up before the icy winter hit. I rented a heavy-duty ditch digger
Family Time in the Great Outdoors
Family adventures are a great way to grow closer and develop meaningful connections. But with lodging prices rising and the logistical nightmare that traveling with the entire family can be, many Americans are looking at a new option: ditching the beaches and resorts and heading to the great outdoors. Actually, we know this option isn’t new at all. Spending time outdoors with family may very well be one of the most time-honored traditions ever. CAMPING Lodgings and flights are expensive, so going on a family vacation can cost thousands of dollars — and that’s just for the basics! But camping only requires a tent, a fire, picnic food, and water. Rather than scarfing down fast food between flights and dealing with airport security, departure delays, and long flights, take a deep breath and roast marshmallows over the fire with the people you love. HIKING A hike with family is an easy way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. All a hike requires is a trail and a sense of adventure. The best part of hiking is that you can tailor the
distance to fit your family’s needs. If you have children or grandkids who aren’t up for the challenge of an arduous daylong trek, there’s sure to be a shorter scenic trail. If nothing else, you can always turn around and backtrack the way you came. FISHING Fishing is a great way to get out and do something relaxing yet challenging. It doesn’t require a lot of skill or investment. All it takes is the willingness to learn and the desire to connect with nature. This is why fishing is the perfect activity for youngsters of all ages. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your rod and reel and head to the nearest lake or river. While these are all great stand-alone options, together they form an amazing three-headed monster for your next family outing. By combining camping with a hike to a river or lake where you can go fishing, you are sure to create lasting memories with your family that will draw you closer together. Ditch the lines at the airport and the stress of travel. Unleash the possibilities of adventure in the great outdoors.
The Winds of April People often wonder if there’s any truth to the idea that tornadoes strike the United States more than elsewhere in the world. The answer is yes! It all comes down to the shape and placement of North America. The U.S. experiences more tornadoes than any other country in the world, with an average of 178 twisters during April. In fact, meteorologists call April the start of the tornado season. In May, however, the average number of twisters peaks to 269. Most tornadoes occur along the aptly named Tornado Alley. This swath of North America stretches from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, cutting through each central Plains state. What most people don’t realize is how much land Tornado Alley really covers. It’s practically one-third of the country! But why here? It all has to do with geography. As warm, moist air makes its way up through the central states from the Gulf of Mexico, it collides with the cooler, drier air that slopes away from the Rocky Mountains. This
A Gust of Tornado Facts
combination of warm and cool air is the ultimate recipe for major storms — particularly the kind of storms that produce tornadoes.
During tornado season, the time of day can also influence the development of twisters. As meteorologists have observed, a majority of tornadoes occur around 5 p.m. — so often, in fact, they call it the “5 o’clock magic.” The cause of this “magical” hour is due to atmospheric temperatures. By 5 in the afternoon, the day’s temperature has usually peaked. As a result, storms are at their most energetic. The United States isn’t the only country affected by tornadoes. Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, China, central Europe, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, Western Russia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom all experience notable tornado activity. South America even has its own version of Tornado Alley, which stretches from central Argentina up through Uruguay and into Paraguay.
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Schedule Your Roofing Installation Before the Summer Rush Beat Peak Roofing Season
A lot of people hold off on scheduling a roof installation or repair until the “right time.” Most homeowners wrongly assume summer and early fall are the right times. The truth is summer is peak roofing season, so it’s better to schedule ahead of time. You could say demand is through the roof! There are some simple reasons why summer is peak roofing season. The weather is often ideal for installing a roof, and homeowners typically have time off from work. When it comes to the weather, this can be a blessing for roofing contractors; but for homeowners who schedule last minute, finding a time can be difficult. During the busy season, there are longer waiting periods to get an installation date with a reliable roofing company. Another factor to be aware of is the cost of roofing products and supplies. As peak season arrives, suppliers like Laughing Corner
to raise their prices, making shingles and other materials costlier for consumers, including both roofing contractors and homeowners. When you schedule a roof installation during the off-season (such as in the spring), you can avoid the pitfalls that occur later in the year. You can get an installation date that better fits your schedule and avoid the long wait. Another bonus of a spring installation is that you can take care of roof leaks sooner. As the snow melts and the temperatures rise, homeowners typically become more aware of roof-related issues, such as leaks or missing shingles. A spring installation gets these issues taken care of before they become a bigger problem and potentially damage your attic and other areas of the home. After all, moisture that gets into the home is a big deal. Not only can it lead
Our roofing experts hard at work
to rot, but it can also lead to mold, which can be costly to remove.
To learn more about how we can help you before the summer rush, be sure to give us a call. We’re here to answer all your roofing questions and to make sure your home is ready for the months and years ahead.
Roasted Asparagus With Lemon Breadcrumbs
Recipe inspired by Food and Wine Magazine
2 pounds asparagus
• • • •
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest
• • •
Juice of one lemon (not packaged lemon juice)
Freshly ground pepper 2 garlic cloves, minced
Instructions 1. Heat oven to 425 F. Toss asparagus with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake for 20–26 minutes, turning asparagus halfway through. 2. When asparagus is nearly done, heat remaining olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add breadcrumbs and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and fold in parsley and lemon zest. 3. Transfer asparagus to serving platter, drizzle with lemon juice, and top with breadcrumb mixture. 3
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INSIDE This Issue 1 •
The Hilarious Mishaps of DIY Home Maintenance 3 Awesome Ways to Create Lasting Memories The Start of Tornado Season Schedule Your Roofing Installation Before the Summer Rush Roasted Asparagus With Lemon Breadcrumbs The Origins of April Fools’ Day
2 • 3 •
FOOLED AGAIN The History of April Fools’ Day
Although April Fools’ Day has been celebrated for centuries by cultures around the world, the holiday’s origin is unclear. Historians point to a variety of possible beginnings, but the only solid conclusion is that the April Fools’ Day we know today is a blend of traditions. The Gregorian Calendar In 1582, France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. Some people were slow to get the news, and others failed to recognize that the start of the year had moved from April 1 to Jan. 1. Those who celebrated during the last week of March became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. People placed paper fish on the backs of March celebrators to symbolize young, easily caught fish and referred to them as “poissons d’avril,” or “April fools.”
Hilaria Other historians have linked April Fools’ Day to the ancient Roman festival Hilaria, which was celebrated at the end of March. The festival honored Cybele, a mother of gods, and celebrations included parades, masquerades, and jokes to honor the vernal equinox, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. ‘Canterbury Tales’ Another origin story comes from Geoffrey Chaucer’s 1392 book, “The Canterbury Tales.” There are still questions about whether Chaucer really wrote the stories and whether they have any direct link to April Fools’ Day. In the book, Chaucer describes the date “32 March.” Some believe this
was a joke, because March 32 doesn’t exist, but some medievalists insist it was a misprint.
April Fools’ Day certainly has murky origins. Whether our traditions come from the Gregorian calendar switch, Hilaria, or even “The Canterbury Tales,” we can all enjoy our chance to let loose and play pranks on our friends and family at least one day each year.
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