Ah, late winter and love is in the air! Or maybe it’s just the early start to pollen season…? Valentine’s Day reared its ugly/awkward head so naturally a special symposium was in order—Valsposium! The usual snacks were in play, along with other appropriately theme treats.
The monthly book club gathering continues with a small but dedicated core of readers. Recent books included “The Woman Who Smashed the Codes” by Jason Fagone about a real-life US code breaker who worked from WW2 up until the mid-seventies. In light of Ursula K. Le Guin’s recent passing we read her classic coming of age fantasy “A Wizard of Earth Sea.” Sometimes reality is just too hard, so continuing in the fantasy realm we are currently reading multiple Hugo award winner N.K. Jemisin’s highly-acclaimed “The Fifth Season.”
As with book club, the Trivia gang remains as tight as ever, even if we didn’t pull off our usual season-final win. We took a couple months off during the deep of winter hoping to shore up strength for the final push towards victory. Alas, it was not to be…this time.
Delicious food trucks continue to make a welcome appearance every week, usually twice a week. The Mexican food truck is especially popular, with the generous serving of nachos particularly beloved. Another favorite is The Bavarian Chef, with their delicious and hearty German fare.
NCAA fever hit hard for those who either love hoops or just love a little gaming action. Charlie “Sports Oracle” Kelly set up the CCRi brackets (three maximum at $5 each) for a total of 55 brackets and a whopping $275 total. Payouts ranged from 13th place ($5) to a first place win of $50. Many experienced crushing defeats early on as they saw their bracket(s) smashed to smithereens. March Madness is indeed a soul-crushing pursuit, only for the most brave. Several CCRi people won big—Jake’s P and K, Andrew H and Mary Beebe, not to mention proud Villanova alumni Will M. But no one scored bigger than Malcolm M, who had all three of his brackets in the top ten. He even hedged two of his brackets against his own school, Michigan, just in case. Now, that’s a winning strategy!
St. Patrick’s Day is just a natural for a special symposium, a no-brainer. Chef Master Kyle went into his magic kitchen and produced delicious vats of corned beef, colcannon, bangers, and Irish soda bread. And of course, there was lots of Guinness on tap! The large screen was enabled and we alternated between watching some elimination playoff hoops, silly and cute animal videos and and Irish tunes on YouTube.
When he’s not diligently listening to trivia podcasts and corralling tables at World of Beer, Bob K. also serves as our Swag Ambassador. For the second year running Bob K has organized a sizable CCRi clothing swag purchase using employee holiday money.
CCRi employees Christy Carwile and Michael Matthews, who also happen to be husband and wife, enjoy doing artistic things together. Several times they and a few of their friends, have gone to the paint bar Muse to paint the themed picture of the evening (or whatever they feel like). Christy organized an outing for CCRi folks and a handful of us went. Miraculously, no one spilled paint on themselves, and artistic temperaments were held in check.
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