Friends Touch Hands

What did Wysz do today? Read this and find out! Yes, this will be on the test.

Today I went to a BBQ at a co-worker's house. I predicted that it would be pretty sweet, and of course I was right. Even walking down the driveway was an adventure; I'm just glad we did it before nightfall. So what made this BBQ so cool?

First, there was there was the Crazy Rope Swing Game. There are two players, and they stand on two tall platforms facing each other. From there, they time their launches and attempt to touch hands while swinging. One member of the team named it "Friends Touch Hands." How did I do? Let's just say I didn't make any new friends today.

I've always wanted to go on a zipline, and today I finally got to do it. I'm thinking about getting one for the apartment.

After the zipline, we tried out the Crazy Ball Thing. It looked like a combination of that cage of death that motorcycles ride around in, and one of those playground structures that looks like a model of a molecule or some other sciencey thing. The metal sphere was held in place by a single chain hanging from a rope, so the ball could not roll away but could still spin. The basic idea was that you climb on the outside, get high enough so you're beyond the crush zone, and then climb around until you and your fellow participants are in a position that makes physics do its thing and sends you spinning. I once saw something on TV about a guy who was holding onto the railing of an airplane door that had opened mid-flight, and when they landed the firefighters had to pry his hands off of it. My hands felt kind of like that, but it was awesome.

Another unique feature of the backyard/amusement park was a castle. Yes, a real castle (at least that's what I was told.) We climbed up to the top and overlooked the kingdom, and I learned that the castle even used to have a dragon. I asked if one needed a permit to own a dragon. The answer? "No, just a fire extinguisher."

But climbing up the ladder inside the castle wasn't the coolest way to get up. Behind the castle was a climbing wall. I haven't tried one of those in a long time, but fortunately I was able to make it to the top.

The climbing theme continued with the rope ladder. It looks like it should be incredibly easy, but when you get on it, you realize that a free-hanging rope ladder makes you climb at a sharp angle for the bottom portion. Once I got going, however, I was able to make it to the top by doing most of the work with my legs.

The BBQ also featured more familiar activities such as a trampoline and badminton. I don't know. Maybe there is a good minton. So, yeah, I think I'll be inviting myself over again next weekend.

While I'm talking about today, I guess I'll go ahead and throw in my latest Apple Store experience here. My MacBook Pro's optical drive has been acting up; rejecting CDs about 50% of the times that I try to use them, often forcing me to restart the computer while holding the mouse button in order to eject the disc. Since I've been going to the Stanford Shopping Center location recently, I decided to change it up and go to the Palo Alto store. Since parking on University Ave. is a ridiculous idea on a Saturday night, I pulled into the nearest garage and found parking on the fourth floor. I thought it would be faster to take the elevator down, so I got in and pushed the "1" button. It lit up and had a star next to it and everything. It looked like such a good button. I started adjusting my shoelaces that had come undone, and noticed that the ride seemed to be unusually long. In fact, I was pretty sure the elevator wasn't moving at all. Not wanting to have to deal with being stuck in an elevator, I decided to ignore the the problem and go with the "I'll deal with this as soon as I finish tying my shoelaces" strategy. After my footwear was in order, I looked up and saw that I was still on the 4th floor. I pressed "1" again, and nothing happened. I tried the "Door Open" button. No luck. "Door Close" worked I guess, because the doors remained closed. "4" didn't do anything. At that point, I knew that I at least had reached the point where it would at least be something to blog about. While this was a comforting thought, I still knew that I had a reservation at the Genius Bar, and I didn't want to miss it. (Well, being a Genius Bar reservation, by "miss it," I mean "show up more than 40 minutes late for it.") I saw that the stop/run button was a push/pull deal, and I pushed it to make sure it was fully in the "RUN" position, and it was. Finally, I decided to go with the "try turning it off and on again" approach. I pulled the button into the "STOP" position, which activated a bell, and then pushed it back to "RUN." The doors opened and I used the stairs.

When I got to the Apple Store, I only had to wait a few minutes since I had arrived 10 minutes late. Of course my MBP behaved perfectly in front of the Genius (even though his MBP's drive was acting up), even though I had brought in three CDs that had been giving me trouble just an hour earlier. At least I was able to sit at the Genius Bar and import Sensational '70s. I seem to have the single-disc edition of the album, which is the second CD of the boxed set, in case you care. The only thing that bothers me about it is that the album is actually titled Sensational 70's. I go the other way with apostrophes. Oh, and also at the bar I saw a fellow G.A. alum who recognized me.

Posted: Saturday - October 14, 2006 at 10:20 PM