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There Goes the Party Tent
2007-06-20, 10:03 a.m.

Day 1032

Yesterdays late entry is behind this one. Go look. It was an exciting day, in a bad way.

Some rather interesting events happened Tuesday, but were overshadowed by the thuggery in my neighborhood Monday night. I have to give credit to our local police force too. By the time we got home from work Tuesday night, they had delivered a letter that detailed as much of what happened as they could reasonably relate without compromising the investigation.

Drug related incident? Probably. They found a scale, a bit of pot and several thousand dollars in the shooting victimís friendís car. Neither of them are helping much in the way of providing info. Itís not likely that there will be many witnesses either, as the events took place 9:45-ish on a week night. Most of the neighborhood is indoors, rotting their brains with TV, trying to get tired enough to go to sleep. Not many people are poking around outside then.

Tuesdayís big event. Had a picnic at work to celebrate our first 30 days in business as a new company. Had a big honkin tent set up in the parking lot. Donít know how big. Maybe 40í x 80í? Big. Had 6 or 8 50 gallon buckets full of water holding it down. (this little detail will be important in a minute)

We had an ugly weather forecast for Tuesday. Hot & muggy early, temps pushing 90, with strong thunderstorms moving in sometime in the afternoon. The outfit that set up the tent was aware of the forecast, thatís why they used the water barrels.

The picnic came and went. Good food, a lousy speech or two, an excuse to goof off at work for a bit. Lunch was over, we all headed inside. The cafeteria crew was outside starting the clean up. Then all hell broke loose.

The wind picked up. Really picked up. Rain started pouring down, lightning flashing, thunder booming. The wind gusted strong enough it lifted a corner of the tent and managed to empty out one of the water barrels. Then another. Then the whole tent got picked up and transported about 100 feet down wind. On top of a couple dozen cars. Not gently either.


This shows where the tent WAS. Sorta gives a sense of scale.


A sense of where the tent ended up. There were a lot of scenes like this. That GMC pick-up with the barrel on the roof and the tent pole bashing in the roof? Just got out of the shop. Guess where it is now?

View from our building. You can see where the tent is. In itís original position, it would have easily covered that Hertz rental truck. (Thatís the tent company there to clean up. Oops.)

Weíve had storms plenty worse than that in the past. Itís just the addition of the flying tent and the damage that made this one special. Some folks did get good news. I saw 5 or 6 cars under the tent that were pretty much unscathed. Just had a garage moved in over them. Many other folks were not as fortunate. Maybe 2 dozen cars sustained damage, ranging from a scratch or two all the way up to all glass broken and pretty severe body panel damage. One might even be totaled.

Weíve had a lot of work picnics in the past, but this new company really knows how to throw a party.

Had a nice indoor run yesterday morning. Probably too nice. Felt like I had a little left in the tank when the 5K was done. Still, best run in a while. Rested legs helped, no doubt. This morning? More pedaling with Patty. Did the usual frenetic workout on the bikes, then a trip around the Nautilus gear. Now I just have to get myself motivated to do some work. Maybe some coffee would help.

Floated the idea of a 2 day ride to Genesee, PA. and back past the clan. Got the funny looks, the ďWhat are you, nutsĒ comments and from Jill a ďYou should just ride to my parents houseĒ (they live about 75 miles away, off in hilly country to the south west of us). The ride to Jillís parents would be a good challenge. But it would only be one way. Itís true that we could go down there for a picnic dealie, have Cindy, Zach & Jill take the van and meet me down there. Then we could just load my bike in the van and drive home at the end of the day. Weíve yet to visit down that way and are overdue. Maybe we will do that this summer, but the trek to Pennsylvania is still the aim.

I plotted the course. Big, very big hills. One is a straight 2 mile climb, covering 1000 feet of elevation (If I did the math right, thatís pushing a 10% grade. Ouch!). Thereís a bit of a down hill on the other side, but still, from start to finish there is a 1500 ft gain in elevation. That means the ride home ought to be a scream!! Only problem? Genesee, Pa. appears to not have a motel, Inn, B&B or campground. Closest place to bunk down for the night is an Inn about 10 miles away, back in NY. Gotta work on that one. I donít relish the idea of carrying a tent & sleeping roll, then trying to camp out in some field. Iíd rather just crash on a real bed after eating a real meal and having a real beer or two. I still think the trip is feasible, just have to campaign for support. 200-ish miles in 2 days. Iíll have thighs of steel and lungs of, of, well, something, when itís done.


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