Saturday, August 25, 2007

Engineers Picnic

Whew! A very fun Family Day Picnic. I'm exhausted.

What I learned:

Kids like Goodie Bags. And you can get them premade.

How many Engineers does it take to put up a Volleyball net?

6! and it takes them 45 minutes. Hey these aren't billable hours boys!

Bouncy Castles are a blast!

Kids love them. Look at that kid doing a flip! He had no fear.

Engineers love Bouncy Castles too.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I don't seem to have endurance for shopping. I recall helping an ex gf shop and being the good boyfriend carrying all of the bags and parcels until I couldn't carry anything else. At that point I assumed the expedition was over, but I hadn't counted on the "outside the box" thinking of putting the items in the car and continuing on. It wore me out; at least some stores put those little chairs out for boyfriends.

When I shop for myself I find I have about 20 "good" minutes where I can make decisions. The next 20 minutes after that are marginal and anything after 40 minutes is impossible. If I have been shopping for an hour and a salesperson asks me if I prefer this shirt or that shirt, my honest answer is "I don't know". And I wouldn't be able to tell if a pair of shoes were comfortable or not either. You can see I struggle with shopping.

My friend Rauli suggested to me that if I am going to "date" then I should get some new jeans because apparently my Levi 501's were not flattering. She wouldn't help me though so I was on my own. Off I went to Harry Rosen, a high end mens clothing store. The salesperson suggested a few brands of jeans that I had never heard of and gave me some to try on. Size 34? I'll never fit into these. Give me a size 36.
Mr. Lavery you are definitely a size 34 advised the salesperson.
I laughed as I squeezed into the Seven for all Mankind size 34 jeans and I was a little embarrassed to exit the change room because they were tight.
A female salesperson made a flattering remark which really threw me off. Are jeans supposed to fit like this? My 501's fit completely differently.
Apparently jeans are supposed to be like that. $240 later I had a new pair of jeans.

They are more expensive than most of my dress pants. Anyway, I did it all by myself and wore them to work on casual Friday. This purchase turned out to be a big topic at the Engineering company. Spending over $70 on jeans is unheard of in the Engineering world.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ironman Tips for Newbies

Here are some helpful tips for the 2007 Newbie Ironman entrants

1. Upon arriving in Penticton change into your smallest Speedo and strut around on Main Street. This act will signal to the locals that you are a newbie Ironman and you will be treated accordingly.

2. Go to the Bike Barn and ask that your tires be filled with Race Air. You want every advantage you can get.

3. Check out the Exposition and if there are any interesting nutrition products there buy them and try them on race day. They wouldn't be at the Exposition if they weren't for Ironmen.

4. Ride the course the day before but only do the 160 km version. You don't want to overdo it.

5. You need at least 2000 calories per hour. Buy the Extra Calorie Ensure and drink as many as you can. Fill your water bottles with it and put it in your special needs bag. It tastes pretty good warm.

6. The lake is so warm this year that wetsuits are not allowed.

7. It's easiest to make up time on the downhill bike ride to Osoyoos so hammer as hard as you can right from the start all the way to Richter.

8. On the return part of the run remember that as soon as you run past Skaha lane and enter Penticton on Main Street you are almost there! Time to sprint to the finish.

9. Never tried salt tablets? Buy some at the Exposition and take as many as you like. It's just salt.

10. The most important and real tip is Remember to thank your Spouse for putting up with you for the last year - especially during your overtrained period. Maybe you'll get to do it again.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Kids Party?!

I admit I am a bit of a suck up at work. I help out with United Way functions and I belong to the Rec club. Earlier in the year there was a request for an organizer of the "Big Engineering Company" Summer Picnic - I figured it would be a pretty easy gig, barbeque a few hamburgers, get a couple of beer kegs, set up a croquet course.. After all I was UBC Social Coordinator and I've thrown a few beer gardens... this should be a breeze - so I volunteered to lead the task.
I was looking at last years budget and I noticed items such as Bouncy Castle, and Clown.. This is odd...
I talked to my coworker friend Neil about it and he informed me that it is a Family picnic which is centred around the Children's enjoyment! Then he went on to explain about Pinatas, Bouncy Castles, Balloon Animals, Clowns and uncontrollable children. That's not what I signed on for!
It's also on Ironman weekend so I won't be going up again!
I've never had kids and this will be a learning experience.

There will be NO clown this year I assure you. My brother Sean used to have a pretty good mime act but I don't think kids would appreciate it. I think a magician would be cool. (By the way Gordon Mullen and I had a hugely successful Vaudeville Magician act from Grades 4 through 7. - we had our peers rolling in the aisles)
Anyway I have the Bouncy Castle organized. Apparently there needs to be some sort of supervision.
My planned beach park location was hit by an oil spill, so I can either organize some new games such as Name that Oil Slick or Pin the Tail on the Barrel. Or we can go to Ambleside Park again - it's within 5 minutes of the Powers that Be, so I may earn points with the VP's. Perhaps a good stragetic move.
This is way different than those University functions and I suppose getting drunk at this party would be exceptionally career limiting for me.