Sunday, January 20, 2019

35 Years at PCU

In 2013 I observed 35 years at PCU with a lunch out at El Toro with my co-workers.  I was the "star" of the day, complete with a sombrero, and was offered a free dessert which I shared.
First day of employment = January 23, 1978.

Five years earlier, on my 30th anniversary at PCU, I was "queen for the day."

Monday, December 31, 2018

Peeping Eyes

It all started with one plastic figurine from a Kinder Joy egg.
I had purchased a dozen Kinder Joy eggs during an after-Easter clearance sale for about 17¢ each to take on our sister trip to Wisconsin in May.  Unfortunately our trip was cut short, and we did not have the time to open the eggs.  So they came back home, and I gradually opened them and found a variety of similar plastic figurines in them.

But what to do with these little characters?  I plotted a plan to "hide" them at the rec center.

I took one in on a late-August Saturday when there are fewer people present and hopefully I would arrive first.  I tucked it in the corner of the windowsill.  One window on the west wall is higher up from the floor, and when we walk counter-clockwise like we do on Saturdays, it would not be obviously visible unless you actually knew to look for it.

I then did not walk at the rec center for the next two days, and when I returned on Tuesday, it was gone!

I tried again sometime in October, and placed another figurine in the same windowsill.  This time I did not walk at the rec center for 3 days, and when I came back on Wednesday, it, too, was gone.  How disappointing.

But I continued plotting and decided maybe if the plastic figure was higher up, it wouldn't be as easy to remove.  So on another Saturday in November I put a figurine on top of one of the fire alarms.  There are six alarm on the walls around the walking track.  I contemplated which one I thought would be less in a line-of-vision and stretched and pushed it on top.

I returned on Monday, and the figure was still there!  Wow!  Tuesday - it was still there!  Success!  Wednesday - still there.  But that day as I was walking my laps I saw that Curt (Kurt?), one of the regulars, was reaching up and removed the figurine.  I started thinking, "Leave it alone. Don't take it down. Put it back."  I continued around the track, and as I passed the fire alarm, I could see the figurine on top of the fire alarm.  All right!

The next day, Thursday, the plastic figure was still there.  Sometime later, after walking several laps, I saw that another figure had been added to the top of the fire alarm a gnome-like figure.  It had not been there when I first arrived, but made its appearance after Curt arrived.  So I surmised that Curt had added it.

I later saw Curt talking to the other regular walkers and gesturing towards the fire alarm.  That Saturday he asked me if I had noticed the "peeping eyes."  I played ignorant, and he told me that he had seen the first two on the windowsill and that he had added the gnome to the top of the fire alarm.  I said something like "what a cute idea" and left it at that.

The following week other people started bringing in small figures: squirrels, miniature characters from what I think was a plastic Christmas village, a snowman on a sled, little mice creatures, and so on.  These would just appear in various nooks..  I did see Liz add some figures.  And I suspect Curt brought in more because they would not be there when I arrived before him, but would show up after he arrived.  Over the next several days they would be moved around, and it was fun to spot them in various places.

Someone even brought in a larger object of a festively-dressed teddy bear with a Christmas tree.  A larger (4-5 inch tall) nutcracker was added to the collection.  I thought those were both too big, and I was beginning to think there were too many objects.  I counted 20 things at the peak of this silliness.

I called one of the objects Buddha Bunny.  I think it was a fat rabbit sitting on its butt with its laughing head tipped back.

A couple days before Christmas, I noticed a couple of the objects were missing.  Then the next day I saw Curt remove a couple more.  I assumed he was moving them to another location, but they did not reappear.  The count dropped to 11.  The figures that were removed were connected to snow or Christmas.  I guess they were considered seasonal and were being retired.

Today three new objects showed up, all turtles.  One was placed on the windowsill after Curt arrived.  I'm guessing he added it.  I also think that some of these little trinkets were placed by people throughout the day.

It's been fun.  And no one knows that I started it with the plastic figurines from Kinder Joy eggs.

Here is a sample of some of the doodads that were placed:


My first experience with the Kinder Joy egg was when we were in Germany a year ago on our Danube River boat cruise.  After our first walking tour in Passau, we were each given one of the eggs when we returned to the boat.  The eggs in Europe were hollow chocolate eggs like hollow chocolate Easter rabbits.  The toy was inside the hollow egg.  Apparently this was considered unsafe for American children on, no! they might swallow the toy while eating the egg.  So the eggs sold in the U.S. have chocolate candy on one side of the packaging and the toy on the other side.

Friday, December 14, 2018

A Major Senior Moment

I've just arrived home from running a couple errands.  I treated myself to a stop at Taco Bell to pick up something for lunch.  I ordered inside for carryout, and as I was waiting for my order to come up, I dug in my coat pocket for my car keys.  I dug in the other pocket, then both of my pants pockets.  No keys.  Oops-- I guess they are locked in the car.  I'll have to walk home and get the second set.  Not looking forward to that, but at least the temps are in the mid-40's and it's not raining altho it is a wet day.

I ate in the store, shoveling the food in and not really enjoying it.  I theorized that I accidentally left the keys in the car 'cause I was just bringing in my wallet.  I supposed I had set them down on the passenger seat when I picked up the wallet.  Didn't really make sense, but those were my thoughts.

I approached my car and peered through the driver's window, but I didn't see the keys on the seat.  Well, that theory was shot.

Then I reached for the door, and it opened!!!!  Yippee!  But where are the keys?

In the ignition.  That just seems so unreal to me.  I'm generally careful about hanging onto the keys.  What the heck caused me to leave the key in the ignition?  At least the car door was not locked.  But .....

As I reached to start the car, I discovered the car was already running.  I had not turned the car off!!!!  That would explain why I did not have the keys in hand because I pretty much automatically remove the key from the ignition when I turn the car off.  So, the whole time I was in the store, the car was running.  Anyone could have driven off with it.  (Likewise, anyone could have driven the car away with the key in the ignition and the door unlocked.)

What a nincompoop.

After arriving home and thinking a little bit, I'm still surprised that I didn't lock the door.  That's pretty automatic with me, too.  But I kind of think the car is safe-guarded to not lock with the key in the ignition.  I'll have to test that out some other day ..... when I am safely at home.