Most of this week the big bosses of the Valve Store™ have been/will be off-site attempting to dazzle the even bigger bosses from Valve HQ by recounting the tales of past triumphs from FY2014 and presenting ideas for a more profitable FY2015. On Tuesday when I noticed that our manager wasn’t in his office at his usual time, I questioned over the cubicle wall to Mark and Tom, “Is Boy Wonder going to be out too?” (A reference to our new supervisor who is all of 30ish.) This led to maybe we should make up signs for their empty offices, one for “Robin” and another for the manager with Batman on it.
This sounded like just the thing for the then unsupervised Arts & Crafts Engineer to do after lunch. So I went to the web and downloaded some photos of the Dynamic Duo for the manager and our supervisor. I then did the same for 5 of the villains from the 60’s TV for us peons. I measured our cubicle nameplates, 2 x 10 for us and 3 x 12 for the big guys and made up some new themed ones. I then used some of my low tack spray adhesive and covered up everyone’s existing signs with the new ones.
They stayed up for all of an hour and a half. Batman called and told The Penguin to tell the second shift supervisor to make sure they folks in the shop weren’t playing poker or anything later because the President of the company was going to want to take a tour of the plant after they all had dinner. We may put them up tomorrow afternoon, because the big guns will have gone back to Jersey by then and leave them up until Batman and Robin get back to work on Friday.
This was one of questions in today’s Deadspin Funbag:
I haven’t seen anyone rollerblading in at least 10 years. Is rollerblading dead? Is it just an activity that nobody does anymore? Or is it the exclusive domain of weird perverts of some kind?
Rollerblading is all but dead relative to its ‘90s heyday; sales of rollerblading equipment have been in decline for a while. I assume this is because no one ever figured out how to freaking stop while wearing Rollerblades. Back in the 1990s, people were skating around and doing all sorts of KEWL tricks on park railings, and so other people were like, “Oh shit! That looks fun!” And then they bought all the equipment, only to realize there’s no way to stop. You have to have skillz to rollerblade well, and people with those skillz would probably rather go skateboarding or snowboarding instead, because Rollerblades make you look like a freaking dork.
Rollerblading was also a general fitness craze, and fitness crazes flame up and flame out all the time. You can throw rollerblading right into the fitness-craze dustbin with strippercizing and zebra-rustling. You know what’s a big fitness thing right now? Ballet. They’ve got fitness videos with ladies contorting themselves around chairs and ballet barres, and it’ll all be dead within a week.
Hey! I’m no pervert! I’m just a guy who figured out to sort of stop and enjoys the sense of speed generated by wheels instead of sneakers hitting pavement. I know I’m in a definite minority who still participate in this fitness-craze some 20 years later, but I also admit I still enjoy a good zebra rustling now and then.
The Sunday before last on our way to Palm City we stopped for lunch at a Carrabba’s in Jacksonville. Donna had a series of coupons from a newspaper awhile back that were 2 for $10 off two dinners and in the middle was a $5 off two lunch entrees. We thought we’d use the lunch coupon, but as it turns out, there is no lunch menu on Sunday. Not a problem, we could just use one of the $10 dinner coupons. Figuring we would not use the other dinner one before it expired, Donna gave it away to a couple that was at a table near us.
We usually come back from FLA and stop near Ocala which is about halfway home. This time, because the University of Florida had a home football game, the usual Hampton Inn we stay at for $98 was charging a hundred bucks more. So last Saturday and instead of coming back up the Turnpike like we usually do, we opted to go straight up I-95. This put the halfway point on the southeast side of Jacksonville’s outer loop. I found a Hampton Inn there for a mere $75. When we were checking in, Donna asked the lad behind the desk if there were any restaurants within walking distance. He mentioned three, one of which was a Carrabba’s.* Because Donna really likes their Mama Mandola’s Sicilian Chicken Soup and I’m easy, that is where we went for dinner. Guess we should have kept that other $10 dinner coupon.
It was a lot busier on a Saturday evening compared to a Sunday lunch, but fortunately it was still early enough that there wasn’t any real wait for a place to sit. We couldn’t get a booth of course, but ended up in a half booth right next to a family that had a baby in a stroller between their table and ours. We both thought to ourselves, “Uh oh,” but they had just got their check so we knew it would be OK. As they were leaving, the woman leaned over to Donna and handed her a piece of paper and asked if we wanted it. It was a coupon for $10 off two dinner entrees…
*Not the same one as last week, that was on the north side of town.
Desdemona, or as she is more commonly called, Desi, is the 10 year old dog that belongs to Sandy and Paul. Like all dogs, Desi can understand lots of common English words, like food, treat, vet, ride, bath, etc. She can also spell a few, including W-A-L-K. Desi is loyal and protective of the household and will bark mightily at those approaching, but once introduced to you and you give her a dog treat, you are instantly promoted to friend of pack.
Desi’s primary function is hanging around any person who is passing through the kitchen, in the kitchen, or sitting around the kitchen table eating while watching hopefully for any bit of food either offered or dropped. And while Desi is not of a breed officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, her official family motto is Volens in Aeternum which roughly translates to Eternally Watching.
On this morning’s early walk on the beach, Donna sees a guy fishing and makes a bee line for him. “Where you going?” I ask. “To ask him what he is trying to catch,” she says. I mumble under my breath so she can’t hear, “Probably fish.” She chats him up for a few minutes while I try unsuccessfully to capture a photo of a pelican silhouetted by the the rising sun. When she asks him if the beach is always this uncrowded he tell her it is on weekdays from May to December.
Today I was invited along to the meeting of the Palm City ROMEO club and because I don’t actually have all the requirements of membership I was made the first member of the Auxiliary Wing.
A small group of Paul’s friends come over once a week and give him a break from his caregiver duties and take him out to lunch. Because one member of ROMEO is an ex-Marine helicopter pilot that served during a couple of our country’s armed conflicts, he is a member of the local VFW and can get everyone in. The guys like to go here because draft beer is a buck and a half and mixed drinks are just two and a quarter. My lunch fish sandwich lunch today with chips, a pickle, a side of potato salad and a beer cost $5.00. Compare this to my $17.95 fish tacos plus $2.50 for a soft drink yesterday at Conchy Joe’s in Jensen Beach and you can see why this is the default spot for the Club.
If you haven’t already Googled “ROMEO Club” to see what I’m talking out, it is an acronym for Retired Old Men Eating Out. And if you did Google it, you found out it is actually a thing sort of, but this isn’t in anyway affiliated with either that website or the Young Adult fiction book. Anyway, I’m in the Auxiliary because I have not yet retired.
The above photo was taken this evening off the 5th floor balcony of the Marriott Courtyard on Hutchinson Island. It wasn’t until I resized it for posting here that I realized it was actually a double rainbow.
Donna and I had lunch in Jensen Beach and because of the roundabout way we found ourselves there, I needed the GPS’s help in getting us on the right track heading back to Sandy and Paul’s house. After a short time I knew where I was and how to get home, but left the GPS on anyway.
As we crossed the St Lucie River from Stuart into Palm City on the Monterey Road Bridge the GPS said take the first left onto Cornell Ave instead of the usual Mapp Road. What the heck, I took it. A couple of streets down along on Cornell Ave I could see how it was going to take us, but because we needed something at the store, after a couple more streets, I turned right on 34th Street to go over to Mapp Rd where the local Publix was.
34th was a residential street and there were some traffic calming tables that needed to be driven over. As I approached the second one I could see a small crab using the table as his own personal crosswalk. I slowed down to let him cross (and get the camera out), so he slowed to see if I was going to run him over. I stopped to take the crab’s picture. He noticed me not moving, so he finished crossing the road. I put the camera away and we both continued on our respective ways.