Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Day 165: Random Thoughts From The Beach

Update: 206.2 lbs, 50 lb Goal Reached Day 124. 8 lbs to 60 lb goal.

Once again, I find myself apologizing for the lack of updates for the ol' bloggie -- I may just need to realize that I will not be able to give 100% every day, especially when I keep getting so many dates for golf before the sun rises. But I'll try as best as I can.

I got to spend the day yesterday with about 40 of my closest middle school student friends, and staff, at the beach. It was raining in Salem when we left, and raining when we got back, but not a drop over in Lincoln City, so it was just perfect weather. But even after 18 years of working with kids, I still am amazed that I can continue to learn things on a simple day trip. In no particular order, some more random thoughts....

Bus Drivers Can Be Funny - We have a few in-house drivers, but when you need to lease a bus and driver combo, you never know what you're in for. We often times get drivers who just want it quiet and boring for the kids. Yesterday we had a driver who had a few safety rules, but then proceeded to drive like Earnhardt Jr. through the Van Duzer to make record time for a bus from Salem to Lincoln City and back. In fact, I'm getting kind of car sick just typing this up. Anyway, after using a megaphone to track our driver down on the beach when it was time to go, we shut the bus doors and hit the open road.

At the point where we crossed the famous 'stinky part' of the road between Rickreall and West Salem, the bus driver offers to tell some jokes over the loudspeaker, and we decide to give him a shot at Last Comic Driving. He proceeds to tell a couple jokes about legless deer and happy pitbulls, and then pulls out a classic. As we're all trying NOT to breathe in too much he says, "whew! smell that dairy air!" I won't spell it out for you if you can't sound out in your head how genius that line truly is. Well worth whatever we paid for that lease...I grew up not too far from there and had to drive through Stinkville more times that I care to remember, and I'd never heard that one before....nice. Bus Driver - 1, Passengers - 0.

Bus Drivers Can Be Resourceful - We were a little shy on some utensils and supplies. Since we all traveled on the bus together and had no car, we had no way to make a quick trip to Safeway for more stuff. Not only did Mr. Dairy Air pull through with some L.A. backstreet buck knife for me to use in my cooking, but he also drove the beast down to the local market so we could stock up on enough supplies so the kids wouldn't starve. Thank goodness for the bus driver! Bus Driver - 2, Passengers - 0.

Bus Drivers Don't Know Squat About Jellyfish Stings - Well, I can't entirely support that last statement, and since he was taking a long walk on the beach when it happened, he was really no help during the infamous J-fish Sting of '07. Just when I think I really can't have something new happen when working with kids, someone goes and gets stung. Now, I won't go into all the details, but after a few phone calls to a half-nurse, a paramedic, and a friend handy with Wikipedia, I basically had to hand a plastic cup over to this young fella and inform him how urine can help relieve the pain of the sting. I never really imagined I'd ever have to explain to a mid high kid how to go about applying that kind of a method, but there I was explaning away....yeah, good times there. Anyway, everyone made it out alive, and I have a new story to tell as I grow old. Bus Driver - 2, Wikipedia - 1.

So, there you go. If you're heading to the beach, a bus driver can be a friend indeed. Just don't count on them if you're going to be messing around with the local wildlife.