Thursday, December 03, 2015

Day 2 starts... soon

Welcome to Day 2 of my new temp job! It'll be two 8-hour days a week, in the same hospital system as I worked in 10 years ago. The start time is 8:30 from now on. So today, for the first time, I took the bus with 8:30 as my intended arrival time. And discovered a few things...

- I believe the first bus arrived 5 minutes early. Maybe 10 minutes, if you count the fact that he should've been leaving the bus's start point five minutes after he picked me up, and my stop is five minutes away from said start point. So either he was early, or the previous bus was late. 

- I made PERFECT connections. Both buses arrived right when I needed them, the weather was ideal, and there was no traffic congestion. And under those conditions, it took 40 minutes to get here. So that's now my "ideal time", and I know I'll never get here faster than that if I'm using the bus. I can plan my commute accordingly.

So now I'm sitting in the waiting room, waiting for my supervisor to arrive so I can get some work to do. I actually arrived shortly before 8 AM, so I will kill time checking email and so on.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

I has a sad.

I has a sad today. :( I had one yesterday, too, the one-week anniversary of Stanley's passing. I miss that little munchkin.

Captain and Baxter are picking up the slack. At least one of them has attempted to accompany me into the bathroom nearly every morning this week, which Stanley always used to do.
Baxter has been searching for Stanley, sniffing around and trying to wedge himself behind furniture (which is behavior he never engaged in before). Captain hasn't gone in search of his brother yet. I think he hasn't fully grasped that Stanley isn't coming back. I don't look forward to that realization dawning on him. :(

I know there was no alternative to granting the Final Act of Mercy. Not with those x-rays showing metastatic cancer all over his lungs (and the vet believed it was probably on the other organs as well, which the x-ray wouldn't have shown). But wow, one little kitty can leave such a huge vacant spot behind. Hence, I has a sad. :(

Monday, November 02, 2015

Stanley Momorella: April 2004 - October 30 2015

Though the crisis played out over the course of last Thursday and Friday, I wasn't able to bring myself to start creating this post until today. My heart is broken. Stanley has departed for the Rainbow Bridge, and the house has big empty spaces in all the places where that little brown purrball used to be.

When I got up on Thursday morning, I had zero reason to suspect that anything was amiss. Stanley followed me around for attention as usual. He dashed ahead of me as I went up the stairs, as usual. He stopped right in front of me, as usual, so I'd have to stop and skritch him, as usual. He preceded me into the bathroom, as usual, because he loved to have his Morning Dote. This was when I'd shut the bathroom door and he'd get lots of one-on-one attention from Meowmy. All these things happened as they did nearly every morning, and nothing was out of place. I picked him up and cuddled him, and he purred his wee head off, as usual.

But then when I was giving him a tum rub, which he normally loved, he abruptly stopped purring and meeped at me. NOT usual. He wanted to get down. VERY not-usual. I decided I'd keep an eye on him, since this behavior was utterly out-of-character.

We finished in the bathroom and headed down to feed the kitties. Captain was by his dish. No Stanley. VERY unusual. I had to go back upstairs and retrieve Stanley from where he sat. Absolutely not usual. As it happened, neither cat was particularly  hungry, because Mark had given them a treat of an extra scoop of food on Wednesday night. So I was not in panic mode yet over Stanley's lack of appetite. But I figured that he'd bear watching. He did stroll over to the litterbox and make a deposit, and he looked normal doing that, so I was hopeful that nothing major was amiss.

Cats sleep a lot. And Stanley did a lot of sleeping during Thursday. But even so, there were alarm bells ringing in my head that Something Was Wrong. I decided that if he continued in this vein on Friday, we were seeing the vet.

Sure enough, on Friday, he hid himself under the loveseat (which is comprised of two recliners and has large hollow areas under both seats). I carried him down when I fed the cats. He barely glanced at the food dish. OK, that was all I needed to see. I called the vet. I made an appointment for Saturday morning, because at this point, "lethargy" and "lack of appetite" didn't scream "medical emergency" to me. I figured that Mark and I could just work as we normally do on Fridays, and take him in the morning to the vet.

He curled up on the loveseat. Over the course of the next half hour, it became clear to me that his breathing was rapid and shallow. I called the vet right back and asked for a same-day appointment, and they had a 4:40 opening. I called out of work. I took a cab there, figuring Mark could pick us up when he got out of work.

When I got Stanley to the vet, we went through his symptoms. The only two obvious things going on were that he'd lost 9 ounces, and his breathing was labored. So the vet was thinking "pancreatitis". They drew up a treatment plan, complete with meds and instructions for me to follow. But first, they wanted to get an x-ray and a blood draw, just in case. So I waited in the lobby.

The second she came in to summon me to look at the x-rays, I knew something was bad. Sure enough, the x-rays showed innumerable little lesions all over his lungs. Mitigating factors were able to be ruled out, one by one. Fungal pneumonia could cause it, but we neither live in nor have recently traveled to the parts of the country where that kind of fungus is common. A sudden, severe electric shock could cause fluid in the lungs, such as from biting an electrical cord, but Stanley had no teeth. Complete immersion in water could do it, but that certainly didn't happen to Stanley. And so on. So we were left with the most undesirable of all the reasons why there'd be lesions all over his lungs: metastatic cancer. The x-ray didn't show where the cancer might be located, but an ultrasound might. Since the UPenn veterinary ER has access to ultrasound, I originally wanted to take him there just to be SURE that we were dealing with something not curable. There was no possible option for palliative care in this case, and if the only real option was to say goodbye, I wanted to be absolutely POSITIVE that I wasn't jumping the gun. Euthanasia is an irrevocable decision, and since you can't walk it back, I wanted to be utterly certain of what was going on.

But while Stanley was getting his x-rays and blood drawn, he started experiencing more severe respiratory distress. So they put him in their oxygen cage to get his breathing stabilized. While we waited, the vet said that they could send his x-rays electronically to the offsite radiology firm that interprets results for them. Normally, their results are returned the next day, but she could request a STAT turnaround and get their response back in an hour or so. Stanley could stay in the oxygen cage in the meantime. So I agreed to this.

While I waited, I called Mark, my parents, and Joe and John to update them on what was happening. Actually, in Mark's case, I wanted to tell him in person, so all I said was to come to the vet and park his car at the nearby garage, because something was seriously wrong.

After Mark arrived, two things happened. One, the STAT response came back, and it was essentially identical to the assessment of the x-rays that the vet had given me. And two, more significant: even an hour in the oxygen cage did not ease Stanley's breathing back to normal, as it should have done.

Originally, I had wanted those extra tests at UPenn. I wanted answers! But I realized that if an hour in an oxygen environment wasn't enough to give Stanley relief, that IS an answer. It's the answer I wanted least of all, but it was an answer. I envisioned the drive to UPenn, where a non-oxygen environment would only stress his breathing again. I pictured all the noise, strange scents, and tests that would have to be done, stressing him further and perhaps causing his already-brittle condition to deteriorate further. And I was reminded by the vet that on Friday evening, chances are high that their ultrasound people would've gone home for the night, necessitating an overnight stay for Stanley in THEIR oxygen cage.

I couldn't do it. I couldn't put him through that when the most likely outcome of those extra tests would be the same recommendation as was before me already. This was not a flareup of treatable symptoms I was looking at. This was the beginning of a final decline. And I could either ease his passing right there, or drag it out needlessly and STILL end up making the same decision.

So we opted for the Final Act of Mercy. Mark and I skritched and cuddled him, and he purred the ENTIRE time. That's all he ever did was purr. And I can be confident that he had a peaceful passing, being loved on by his humans.

But as I said, my heart is broken. I never in a trillion years would've predicted on Thursday morning that I'd be taking an empty carrier home from the vet within 36 hours. :'(

And now...

Only one cat dish, in a place that was set up for two, looks wrong.

Only one kitty demanding breakfast, where there were once two voices, is wrong, too.

Thank goodness Mark picked up the extra food and water dishes on Saturday, when he fed Captain. I might not have been able to bring myself to do it yet. Those dishes might still be sitting there, waiting for a kitty who no longer has need of them.

I miss my Stanley. So does Captain, his bewildered brother.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Someone took my username in vain

What the frack? I got a "Welcome to Pandora" email for my gmail account, which is NOT the one I use when I register for online services. My real Pandora account has been up and running since 2007 or so.

So for kicks, I tried to log in with said gmail account. I did "forgot password", and sure enough, instead of an error message, I got a password-reset email. I reset the password, all right... to something of MY OWN choosing.

Whoever took my username in vain while creating a Pandora account, created a country music station for it. So I know for certain it was someone else's doing. Let whoever created the account, go and create another account under THEIR OWN freaking email address. I won't tolerate people trying to access mine, particularly strangers.

But at least I shouldn't run into this issue again with THIS email address. Whoever created the account just lost access to it. I trust they'll either use their own email addy or find someone else's address to usurp.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Eye Doctor

It's that time again! I'm sitting and waiting for the eye drops that dilate my pupils to take effect. I don't like how unfocused my vision gets when the drops are doing their thing. 

Oh, well. File it under "necessary evil". If I don't want my vision to be messed up like that 24/7, I have to keep up with these regular exams, including the annoying eye drops. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ta-da! All Done!

Bath Fitter

The Bath Fitter guy is here. Just one worker. Here is the "Before" image of our bathtub area.

Bummer about having to sacrifice the ceramic soap dish that's imbedded in the original tile. I don't even know if they make those anymore. But we HAVE to have the tub redone, because of issues with leaking. The work being done now will resolve that. While the end result will be walls and a tub that are installed right over the existing ones, some tiles will have to be removed to accommodate the new faucet setup (one central control instead of separate hot/cold controls). Plus, the aforementioned soap dish will have to go (drat), as will any tiles where leaking may have caused mold to grow behind them.

Baxter didn't bark at all when the worker first came in. But since I've put Baxter in his crate, and the worker has started hammering and chiseling, NOW the dog is having himself a nice barkfest. I can't say I blame him. If I didn't know what those noises were, I'd bark at them too.

The workman arranged multiple drop cloths along the entire path between the front door and bathroom, including a cloth that goes up the stairs. Good thing this isn't a big house, so he only needed 3 drop cloths. Who knows how many cloths they need to use when they're working in a large house?

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Captain Wuvs His Paw

Selfie Sticks

*sees that selfie sticks are banned from the Papal Mass area*

* buys a cane with a tripod thread hidden in the handle*

When I want a monopod with me, by gosh, I am going to HAVE a monopod with me. Selfie stick ban, shmelfie stick ban. And since I have no intention of being an ignoramus with said monopod, no one will have reason to object.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Online... camera?

I'm giving my new camera's internet connectivity a test drive. The SIM card just arrived today. I look forward to using it in situations where a using dedicated camera is a better option than even tbe best smartphone camera out there. Because 21x optical zoom. :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Will wonders never cease?

I am creating a new post. That's nothing unusual. What IS new is that I am composing it on a CAMERA. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as a camera with a wi-fi connection. It'd have a cellular connection as well, if i had a SIM card for it. Perhaps that's next. We shall see.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Earworm of the Day

Today's earworm is "Shambala" by Rockapella. You're welcome. :)

Onward and upward

Most people who know me offline, also know that I work multiple part-time jobs. One of them was a work-from-home customer support job, from which I had been receiving ever fewer calls (even though my rating remained as high as ever). I was wondering if/when the other shoe was going to drop, as I cannot kid myself about what happens when workloads dry up. I went through it at the bank, and next thing you know, they were downsizing. Ever since then, I have my antennae up when the workflow suddenly starts changing for the worse.

It didn't take long for an answer to come. I found out last Thursday that my position was eliminated. I guess they are consolidating their ranks as their workload shifts. So that was a disappointment. They assured me that it had nothing to do with the quality of my work, but that's scant consolation when a job goes away.

BUT! The good news is that in the very same hour that I got the email about the job cut, I also got a message from a former manager about a new potential part-time position in a DIFFERENT department of the same hospital where I worked 10 years ago. It would be a great fit for abilities that I already have, involving transcribing what a doctor dictates while doing minor, same-day surgical procedures. Shoot, between spending six years taking minutes for the Phantoms Phan Club, the five (!) years I've spent taking minutes for the Italian Museum committee, and the decades(!!) I've spent as a sign language interpreter, this kind of job would really tap into some abilities that I have been making the best use of for a long time now.

So I am looking forward to going in there in person to meet the doctor, and I hope that everything works out ASAP. Working from home was convenient in bad weather, but the workload fluctuated wildly (and with it, the income). This would be a commute to work, but it would also be REGULAR HOURS and a consistent income. I will make that tradeoff willingly.

So, watch this space. Cool things could be happening Real Soon Now.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Still counting down...

32 days until Flyers training camp

53 days until the Flyers season opener

321 days until Vitamin SEA

It's good to have things to look forward to. :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

West Goshen Country Fair

The annual West Goshen Country Fair is in progress this week. Normally, we would go on the Saturday night of the event, but this year some of us have other plans for that night. So some of us headed out to the fair last night.

Their menu is a little bit less varied on a weeknight. They didn't have the pulled pork that I normally get, and apparently their fried chicken dinner isn't available on weeknights, either. Oh, well. But they still have the nirvana-inducing sweet corn on the cob, and they still have the UNBELIEVABLE fresh donuts, of which I got a dozen to take home. I haven't eaten any of them yet, but judging from the crumbs I found on the table, I think Mark has been at the donuts, lol. That's OK -- that's why I got a dozen. I know he likes them, too.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


I'm working with my deaf-blind friend and his mom on Fridays. Last evening, after sunset, we and another friend sat out in the back yard, because the weather was lovely.

While we were there, we were treated to an aerobatic show from some bats. Yes, bats, plural. This wasn't something that my friend's mom had ever seen before, and they've lived in that home since the 60s. You learn something new every day, right?

You know what else I learned? That when you have bats having a feeding frenzy above your head, there are probably freaking MOSQUITOES all over the freaking place. This morning, I woke up to find that I'd been bitten to within an inch of my life, most likely because we were sitting out there attracting mosquitoes for the bats to eat.

Next time I see bats, I'm heading inside to spray on some bug repellant!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Something new every day

File this under "You learn something new every day". All these years, I thought the lyrics were, "Give me the Beach Boys, and free my soul, I want to get lost in your rock and roll, and drift away..."

Of course, for those of us who are Beach Boys fans, MY rendition of the words is just as appropriate as the actual lyrics. :)

In other news:

57 days until Flyers Training Camp
78 days until Flyers Season Opener
346 days until Vitamin SEA 2016

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Errand Day

Finally filled up the gas tank... that whole "gee, the car is on the last line before E" thing had to be resolved.

We're now with John R. as he has the fit of some shoes adjusted. He's dealing with serious foot issues, and the orthotics in the shoes need to be redone.

Later, it'll be a trip to the podiatrist, and for the same reason. I just hope we can park when we get there... my eye doctor is in the same building, so I know it's a pain in the posterior to find a parking place in that neighborhood. Hail Mary, full of grace, let us find a parking space! :)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Fabulous article on the Italian-American dialect 

Read this article. Just do. Seriously. :)

Don't look now, but...

Don't look now, but the Phillies are STILL undefeated in the second half. :) They're riding a 3-game win streak and they are currently leading 5-3 in the 7th inning.

I'm still listening to WIBG, the oldies station from Down-a-Shore, every chance I get. Internet streams FTW. I miss the shore already, and we only just got back. Only 348 days left until our next Vitamin SEA week.

The owners of the peach tree have now picked all the ripe fruit from the tree. There's one half-sized,  completely green peach still in the tree, though... I guess that's where the phrase "late bloomer" came from. So we might just see one more ripe peach on the tree before summer is over.

Tomorrow's going to be an errand-fest. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Phillies: undefeated in the second half! Woot woot!

The Phillies are undefeated in the second half of the season so far! WOOT!

Of course, they've only played one game in the second half so far, but let's not cloud the issue with facts, shall we?

What's even more important is that they are undefeated this year when Mark and I attend a game. Because having a record of 1-0 still counts as "undefeated" in my world. :)

I vote that the Phillies should elect Mark and me as their good luck charms, and give us these seats for the remainder of the season. :)


Phlies win! Phlies win! ;)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thinking outside the peach basket

Proof that you can achieve success under circumstances that no one would imagine. This is a peach tree. I pass it daily while walking Baxter. At its peak, before its owner picked the ripest ones a few days ago, it had dozens of peaches on it. Now it has just those late-ripening peaches (of which there are more than the two seen here). 

The significance of this is that the tree in question is right smack in the middle of an urban neighborhood. Who would've thought a tree could grow healthy peaches on a street lined with rowhouses? Apparently, these people did, and they thought right. 

Don't fall victim to limiting thoughts. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Counting down the days...

As of today, we have:

64 days until Flyers training camp.

85 days until the Flyers season opener.

And 353 days till Vitamin SEA 2016.

Speaking of which, I am overjoyed that WIBG, 94.3 out of Avalon, has an internet stream here. I can have my little connection to "downashore" all year. Even better, they play 60s and 70s music, which is my favorite time period. That's even more reason why this station is full of WIN. And to top it all off, they have... DJs. Real, live humans talking on the air... so many radio stations are fully automated now, I'd almost forgotten what REAL local radio sounded like! (I specify "local" because SiriusXM has real, live humans introducing songs, too, but that's satellite radio.)

I should sit and knit or crochet while listening to WIBG. That'd be a real throwback to my summer vacations when I was a kid.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I'm not kidding about the skating

I just ordered something that I should've gotten BEFORE leaving for Wildwood: protective gear for skating. If I'd had the knee pads on yesterday, I wouldn't have a large Band-Aid on my knee now. Live and learn.

They'll be delivered tomorrow. Amazon Prime FTW. :)

Song of the Day, Day 8

We're home from the shore, the kitties are home from the vet, and all is well. Let's celebrate with a little Barry. :)

Packing, Day 8

Just a quick note as we load up the car to head back. The Song of the Day will come later. In the meantime, here's the walking total for yesterday:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Feet came first, Day 7

Before bikes and skates existed, there were FEET. We just walked to the far end of North Wildwood and back. Round trip: 3.5 miles door-to-door. :)

Couldn't help but sing "Under the Boardwalk" here. The view from below:

More "Under the Boardwalk"  moments:

Most of our walk was out in the open, on a ground-level path that runs parallel to the boardwalk. However, one part of said path is being repaired, so we circumvented the heavy equipment and walked in the shade for a block or so. 

You can't go farther north than this on JFK Beach Avenue.  The Atlantic Ocean meets the Hereford Inlet here.

Bonus Song of the Day, Day 7

They say you know you're a grownup when your knees heal. I guess I'm still a kid. :)

Oops, Day 7

Yeah, that would be a four-Band-Aid-worthy abrasion. I need a new set of skating knee pads before trying this on a sidewalk again. Oh, well, what's a little bloodshed in pursuit of adventure?

Song of the Day, Day 7

I actually DO have a brand-new pair of roller skates, and it's my intent to take them out on their maiden voyage in a little while. We'll see how that pans out. :)

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Cape May Lighthouse and Cape May, Day 6

We decided to turn today into a day trip to see the Cape May Lighthouse and also Cape May itself. I think that was a wise move, as I had just a bit too much sun yesterday during our walking tour of Stone Harbor, particularly the part where we sat on the beach to watch the volleyball. I actually think I wound up with a bit of heat exhaustion after that, and this is WITH rehydrating with three large bottles of Propel during the course of the afternoon. If I hadn't drunk all that water, I might have needed some first aid when all was said and done.

But I digress. We started off by driving to the Lighthouse, which was easier today than on Tuesday night for multiple reasons. One, it was light out so the signs were easier to see. Two, we had some experience already in finding it because we'd just been there on Tuesday evening. And Three, we actually used the GPS this time instead of relying on a printed sheet of directions. Long story less long, we got there with no problem.

There is no elevator. And, as I discovered via the magic of Google, the Lighthouse has 199 steps inside. So we embarked on climbing. There are 6 landings on the circular staircase, which is good, because it allows for the person climbing to pause and catch their breath. I did need that brief break, because it's July and it was FREAKING HOT in there. Note to self: next time, do this in the early morning before the sun has a chance to beat down on the building for very long. Lessson learned, lol. But  on the way up, we did see some cool things. 

Porthole window. 

View from porthole window.

Finally, we arrived on the level of the observation deck. There were more steps that led up into the part of the lighthouse that is in operation, but those stairs were off-limits to the public. 

However, as  you can see, we were VERY close to the workings of the lighthouse. Here is the actual light itself, which rotates around 24/7. Judging from the pair of beams I saw emanating from the lighthouse on Tuesday night, there must be two lanterns spaced 180° apart from one another. 

The first thing you will see, as you are about to step out the door and onto the observation deck, is this:

I suppose there were people who were trying to shout down from the deck to companions who were waiting on the ground because of difficulty climbing stairs, fear of heights, claustrophobia (that tower is NARROW inside!), or other reasons. If that's the case, I can see how that would get really old, REALLY fast for everyone else within earshot.

I must say, the climb was TOTALLY worth the effort. The vista was breathtaking, and the brisk sea breeze felt phenomenally good, all the more so because it was all kinds of hot inside the tower.

This is what the view looked like when I aimed the camera straight down:

Once I got to the ground, I took this image from the base of the lighthouse and posted to Facebook that I'd both climbed AND walked down the entire staircase inside the lighthouse:

From here, we visited the information center and the museum that are also on the Lighthouse grounds. They gave us driving directions to Cape May proper (which is about 1.25 miles away. We had a little sliipup when we arrived. Even though both Mark and I spotted the sign on the parking lot describing that there is a fee for parking from 10 AM to 10 PM, while we were driving into the lot, by the time we chose a parking spot that little detail had slipped both of our minds. So we sort of forgot to freaking pay for parking. Walking up and down 398 steps in a sweltering hot tower will fry your brain like that, lol. So we toddled off to see the sights, and since we were both hungry, we stopped in what proved to be a REALLY nice restaurant. Pricey, yes, but worth every cent. I can't say enough good things about them It's called That's Amore, and if you are ever in Cape May, go there for Italian cuisine. 

I knew I was going to love these people when I saw they serve fresh-baked bread, not with butter, but with "Sunday Gravy". I'm in the "it's GRAVY, not SAUCE" camp. And Italian-American tradition involves making it on Sundays for the huge, Sunday afternoon family dinner. 

And yes, their gravy was VERY good! As was everything else.

Only after we finished eating did Mark ask me, "Do you remember if we had to pay for parking in that lot?" Ummmm, now that you mention it... oh crud. So he headed back to the car, and I wandered into one of the stores. Sure enough, he discovered that within fifteen minutes of our arrival, we'd gotten a parking ticket. Shoot. Well, THAT'S an error we won't be making twice. Live and learn.

But while I was in the store, I got a great picture of an "iWatch". Or should I say, "Eye Watch".

And now, for the South Philly contingent... doesn't Our Lady Star of the Sea look a whole lot like Epiphany in Philly?

We went home not long after visiting the church and a few more stores. And that was a good thing, because within an hour of our getting back to the house, the SKIES opened up with tons of lightning and thunder. I thought there was going to be an ark floating down the street any minute. But it didn't come as a total surprise to me that we got a storm, because I'd been getting alerts on my phone all day about Philadelphia's bad weather. I figured that if they were getting it in the afternoon, it might hit the NJ shore later on. Even though we lucked out yesterday (and Philly's bad weather hit Atlantic City and other points well north of here), tonight we got Philly's rainstorm. Oddly, yesterday we got loads of threatening-looking clouds, only to see them go away and have the sun come back out. Today, the skies looked just fine right up until the storm was about to hit. Then, KABLOOEY. 

The good news is, the forecast calls for the humidity to break. We have had lovely, sunny weather all week, in the 80s, which is ideal. But HOLY COW it's been humid. At least for our last full day here, it might not be muggy. That'll be nice.

I'm hoping I'll get some skating in tomorrow. I've been itching to try out those new skates.

Song of the Day, Day 6

To switch things up a bit, today we're going to take that day trip to Cape May that we discussed on Tuesday night. Why not? Our interest was piqued by seeing the lighthouse in person, it's a short drive, and it's a nice day.

Trial on the Isle, Day 5

Today is Mark's birthday. We celebrated with a trip to Stone Harbor to see the Flyers prospects in their annual Trial on the Isle. Photos will be limited, temporarily, because the Internet connection is laggy today. I can always edit the posts later when the Connection Gremlins go find someone else to harass.

Mark on the path to the 96th Street beach

The events began with the prospects doing calisthenics on the beach. 

Then, guys had to answer a question correctly in order for their three-man team to get permission to start the race portion of the workout. I'm not sure if the questions were about the history of the Flyers, or facts about one another, as I couldn't quite hear everything that was being said. Here are some of the teams beginning their sprint. 

I have more of these images, but I trust you get the idea. ;)

Fast-forward to when the three-man teams returned. Immediately, they began doing sand sculptures, for a contest that'd be voted on by fans. 

I happened to be standing next to a heap of baby clams (think 1/2" wide or less) that had been left behind by the receding tide. They resembled tiny pebbles, but I knew what they were from growing up seeing little critters like these. One of the players working nearby spotted them, too, and scooped a bunch into a bucket to use them to decorate the sculpture. I remarked, "Baby clams. Good idea!"
He peered into the bucket. "These are clams?" I affirmed that yes, they were baby clams. 

And now, they will be able to tell all their clam friends about their foray into performance art. Here they are, adorning a freestyle Flyers logo. 

Some other logos:

Following this, everyone headed over to the bay. Mark went in search of an ATM, so I walked to the yacht club myself. 

The three-man teams proceeded to create rafts out of four inner tubes, in any configuration they wished. They could then climb on and swim/paddle/navigate around the bay with said rafts, under the watchful eye of a flotilla of lifeguards.

We did have some horsing around at the finish line when one guy swam from his raft, to the raft of the team in front of him, and started pulling on the feet of one of the swimmers. The two of them proceeded to bop each other like a pair of kids. :)

After this, everyone headed to the local elementary school for autographs. 

The school was easy to find. ;)

Mark's new nickname: Slapshot. 

First, the hockey clinic...

Then, the autographs. 

There was a volleyball tournament after this, with 16 teams comprised of two players and two fans. But my battery was shot after using the camera all day (including dozens of pics not posted here). So I didn't get pictures of that. 

But here's a picture... We got TONS of walking in!