Tag Archives: wine

A small victory

I scored one small victory last night. It comes on the heels of one of my biggest disappointments while on my current job.

Part of my job is to open lines of communication between the science we do and the general public. In the past, we have held public lecture series. The last series which we sponsored last fall was pretty much a dismal failure. For a variety of reasons, our attendance was miserable. Feeling a little burned, some of the people here, including myself, have been reluctant to get back on the horse and try again.

I decided to take a different tack. Rather than sponsoring a publicly advertised lecture series, we went with a smaller, more exclusive event. We targeted the roughly 240 families that are members of our foundation. We billed it as a special, “by invitation only” event, and sent out printed invitations to the membership. We asked for RSVP’s because “space is limited.” We also encouraged our members to bring their friends as “their guests.” We included a wine/beer/snacks reception.

Our program focused less on science, and more on adventure. The speaker, one of our scientists, has been doing a lot of work in the Arctic Ocean at Barrow, Alaska.

Apparently, it worked. We had 50 people respond and show up. That is right at our target figure. (We have crammed 100 people into our largest meeting room, but it was not pleasant.)

Everyone was happy. Yea! We’ll try another one in the fall and hope for similar or even better results.

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Good neighbors…whoever they are

The folks who live on our street have always been good about looking out for each other.  We watch each other’s houses when a neighbor is out of town, and so on. We had a great, but somewhat embarrassing example of this good-neighbor ethic in action yesterday.

The story started a couple of months ago when we were talking with our son-in-law’s brother and his wife about our hot tub. We had purchased the hot tub from a friend several years ago, and really never used it that much. We really didn’t have much invested in it, so we decided that if someone wanted it, we would give it to them. They just had to disconnect the power and take care of the actual move. R and B were all over the idea. It would be a perfect addition to a new deck they are building. Their plan was to hire a local moving company to actually transport the tub.

The pick-up date kept getting postponed, until finally R called me on my way to work yesterday to ask if they could pick up the hot tub that morning. Both Mrs. Poolman and I were going to be at work, so there would be no one home except for the pets, but I said “Sure.” I gave her the code to the garage door opener and instructions on dealing with the mutts.

After lunch, I called R back to ask how the move had gone. She said it went just fine “…except for when the police came. One of your neighbors called the cops on us.”

Apparently one of my neighbors thought they were burglars cleaning out the house and called 911.  R had  tried to call me in the midst of all that, but I must have been in a cell dead zone (Happens all the time on our campus.). She was able to convince the local gendarmerie that they were legitimate and had permission to be removing the hot tub so no one went to jail.

When I heard the story, I immediately thought of my neighbor across the street. We keep an eye on her house when she is traveling and vice versa. I have often joked with her that “If you see some guys and a truck hauling stuff out of my house, feel free to call 911.”

Far from being upset, I was extremely happy that someone would think enough to take that kind of action. When I got home from work, I took her a bottle of wine as a way of saying “thanks.”

She said she wasn’t the caller, but thanked me for the wine just the same. I let her keep it. It’s a good advance payment for protection against the next would-be burglar.