Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

Introduction

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.


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Monday, August 08, 2005

Picnic time

The company I work for has a company picnic every year. The down side was that it was held in Mountain View (or somewhere way the hell down there). The up side is that it was on a Friday which meant we didn't have to go to the office. Basically, it was a day off except you had to go to the picnic. The company also had it catered with free food and drinks. Not bad, in this day and age.

It was also very family-friendly, with games and prizes for the nearly 20 kids. Rachel and I put together a fishing game with sticks, strings, magnets, paper clips, and paper fish. Other games included a spoon and egg race and a water cup race.

The water cup race involved two buckets, one full of water and the other empty, and a cup. The kids took turns relay-style scooping up a cup full of water, running to the other bucket, and dumping it in before running back to hand the cup off to the next kid. Jared took a turn and was rather funny, running wildly across the grass, water flinging from the cup as he ran.

The egg and spoon race had the kids balancing an egg on a spoon as they ran -- or walked -- down the field and back. The kid before Jared dropped his picked it up and figured out that he could just hold the egg and spoon together and run as fast as he'd like without dropping the egg. Jared didn't get away with that as I was running along with him. It was wonderful to see Jared walking quickly, but carefully, balancing his egg so it wouldn't fall.

There was also a playground nearby where we spent some time. Jared had a blast, basically. He got a sand bucket full of prizes, including a puzzle, stickers, and other toys. He also ate a fair bit of lunch, including barbequed brisket, baked beans, and salad.

The lunch was catered by Wednesday Willy's and boy did the crew get an earful! It seems they changed their menu recently and took away some of the staples that everyone ordered each Wednesday. That explains the recent rash of mutinies to go elsewhere on Wednesdays. Still, the food was pretty good, I thought. Rachel wasn't too crazy about the chicken, but she liked the corn muffins. Sara did too.

While the picnic itself was great, it was shadowed by some trouble early on -- When we first got there, we spotted a group near the entrance and parked there, thinking it was our group. After we got the kids out, we discovered that our group was actually further on down. Rachel decided to walk with the kids while I would move the Disco closer. I started backing out, checking behind me of course, when all of a sudden -- BANG! I had no clue what I could have hit, as there was still nothing behind me.

I got out to see and lo and behold, there was a short little fire hydrant, just the right height to destroy the bumper. No warning poles around it, and no way I could have seen it, just a nice little trick played by the park department. Luckily, the damage is not such that it interferes with the use of the vehicle, but it looks like we'll need to get a new bumper at some point. I know what I want; it's just a matter of being able to afford it.

We do have some money set aside for a new bumper -- enough to cover the cost of a new stock bumper replacement (from a previous accident where I was rear-ended) or enough to cover the cost of the Greg Davis bumper (but not the shipping, painting/powder-coating, installation, lights, etcetera). So, a little saving-up time and who knows -- we may get a spiffy new bumper.

Despite the bumper mishap, it was a fun day and a very generous gift from an employer that already does a lot for their employees.

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