Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hot Dogs, Hula Hoops, and Fireballs

Friday was my company's annual picnic, which was held at Vasona Park. There was plenty of food available for everyone. Our chef, the Q&A engineer, cooked up the typical BBQ fare consisting of hot dogs, burgers, chicken, and some other pieces of meat. After everyone had their fill (and some time to rest), it was time to move on to the day's activities.

We ran two activity tracks. There was the 'active' activity track and the oxymoronic 'inactive' activity track. I was in charge of the inactive one, since I'm pretty lazy. So, the adults and kids that wanted to run around a lot in the hot sun played soccer, bocce ball, and also ultimate frisbee. The adults and kids (mostly younger ones) that wanted to kick back have fun in the shade got to do a number of other activities.

I started off with a game of Taboo. In hindsight, Pictionary would have worked out a bit better, because the younger kids really had a hard time participating. But, still, it was a lot of fun. Few had played it before, so the final score was 1 - 0. This doesn't mean that only one term was guessed correctly... I was playing the official rules where you can lose points for passing or getting buzzed. At one point both teams had negative scores.

Next, we had all the kids (and their parents) do collage art. So, we laid out a bunch of old magazines and catalogs and had the kids clip different images and paste them onto a posterboard. Don't worry, we made sure to get the kid-safe scissors for them. This craft activity worked out really well, and the kids really loved it. One of the kids, a cute boy named Will, enjoyed making a collage so much that later on he wanted to do another one.

The others who were on the inactive track and did not want to do the collage activity were given the Pentominoes Puzzle from the Google National Puzzle Championship. The password for the Test is jag1511. Two of our interns and one of our software engineers solved puzzle. The rest that tried just ended up really frustrated. Ha ha.

I was on a pretty strict budget so, I filled up my third slot with a Junior Semi-active Triathalon. The three events were awesome, and all the kids had a blast. The first was Water Pong. Think of beer pong, but there's no drinking and no beer, just water. The second event was a Bean Passing Relay game. Each kid put a plastic spoon in their mouth and passed scoops of beans from one end to the other end. The final kid on each team would then dump the beans into a cup. This was inspired by Fear Factor and all those bug-transferring games they had their contenstants participate in. Finally, there was the Hula Hoop game where each team tried to get their team through the hula hoop as many times as possible in a fixed amount of time.

Needless to say, I was totally exhausted after the picnic.

Anyway, last night around 2am or so, QB and I were kinda bored and not too tired, so we drove out into the Barryessa hills and watched the Perseids meteor shower for a while. We saw about 20 or 30 of them. But, one of them was amazing. It was this magnificent fireball that burned for a long time and eventually broke up into two pieces. That one shooting star alone was enough to justify our spontaneous drive into the hills.

Time to hit the gym. I'm outta here.

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