Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Watermelon Ride 2006 (Among Other Things)

Our long weekend was pretty relaxed, particularly as most of my clan took a two hour nap whenever possible. Eryn because she needs a two hour nap each day. Me from caffeine withdrawal. Pooteewheet...well, she often takes a nap on the weekend. Can't say as I complain too much - those are usually my only two weekly hours to myself unless I'm on my bike.

But, we did accomplish a few things. Pooteewheet saw Superman and liked it, agreeing with Rotten Tomatoes that it was about a 70-75%. I, on the other hand, took Eryn to Cars. She'd already been to it with Pooteewheet while I was in Fort Lauderdale, but was excited to go again. Pooteewheet told me, surreptitiously, "Maybe you should take her to C-A-R-S today." I shook my head, knowing I was going, because the next words out of Eryn's mouth (Pooteewheet didn't know she knew how to do this, I did) were "Cars! I want to go to Cars!" Yeah...she can spell. Pain in the butt. We'll be moving to pig latin next. The movie was great. Eryn liked the story, and I was fascinated by the technical aspects (and the story). Every time something is happening on screen, a million things are happening in the background - it's an appropriate use of the technology, unlike those damn Star Wars scenes with the kitchen sink and the Millenium Falcon.

My friend Chris Sells was in town and his mother threw a party for him up in Plymouth. I've met Chris' wife (and her twin sister), but I've never met his boys, and they're now both in their double digits, so it was a treat to meet them, even though they were huddled on the couches upstairs traumatized over a showing of Sean of the Dead. Kyle overcame his heat exhaustion and showed up so we had enough players for both bocce and 500 (cards), the later going on until after 1:00 a.m., albeit with a break for some Minnesota-style fireworks (you know, no air bursts and a million mosquitoes). I went to school with Chris, and if you're not familiar with his name, you don't do much with .NET - he wrote the definitive book on Windows Forms (his mother proudly showed it off), and his name appeared as a footnote in my MCTS study guide at the coffee shop only hours earlier.

Today was the, um....it was the sixth year I've done registration for the TCBC Watermelon Ride (Eryn called it the cookie ride - you can see where her priorities lie), so it's probably the eighth year I've done the ride. That would make sense - since we first moved to Richfield, and then subsequently to Eagan. Dang... Unfortunately, this was the first year we did t-shirts and I dropped the ball, forgetting to include them on the sign-in sheets. Luckily, Pooteewheet doesn't like to show up at 6:30 a.m., so I could call her at home, have her kick up Access and the appropriate table and read me the values over the phone - it's kickin' to have a pc-literate wife. We - my father-in-law, Pooteewheet and Eryn (in the Burley) - did the 15 miler again this year and it was perfect weather. Seventy degrees, light wind, dry on the trails. Couldn't have asked for better weather.

According to the ride coordinator there were approximately 775 people at the ride. That's huge! I think that puts the ride in contention for the top 4 or 5 in the state (after the Ironman and Bike Classic, and I exclude AIDS rides and coordinated fund raising events - they're just plain different). Here's everyone waiting for their hotdog, smokey beans and post-ride cookie.

This is Eryn at the first rest stop, enjoying a bit of lemonade and all the M&M's out of my cup of gorp.

Eryn didn't ride alone. Grandpa and Grandma bought her a new Gumby and Pokey (although Grandma/Manna thinks Pokey is a donkey - wtf), and Gumby claimed shotgun.

Here's Eryn and Grandma enjoying the actual watermelon part of the Watermelon Ride - the lunch. This was before she had quite so much ketchup on her face (Eryn, not Grandma).

Eryn thinks the Burley ride is fun, but I think she truly prefers the big park at the end.

And this...I just thought it was a cool bike trailer. It allows you to clip in a car seat for a kid, or remove it so you can just haul things with you. I'm a little skeptical about the lack of a roll bar, although that's easily remedied. And I'm more skeptical about how much that bad boy weighs - but it's got serious panache.

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