For me, this was the 2nd annual trip
up to Lair Camp. It wasn't really about taking pictures or being
political, more about relaxing in a friendly place with fun
people. I never did take out my camera. Virginia only did when she
wanted to record some highlight.
The first thing that inspired
picture taking was judging the cocktail contest. The contestants
were lined up, creating a nice group shot. Every one of those
drinks had something going for it. Some were strong flavors, some
had catchy names, all had lots of alcohol. The drinks were divided
into two heats, kind of a playoff round. Chris and Lizzie both
entered something. Judging my heat required picking the best two
drinks from four for the final round. I felt quite drunk by the
end. Very sure we advanced the right drinks though.
No problem, Lizzie had access to all
that stuff and brought up hers the next day. Pity the poor
mosquitoes and flies they hunted down.
Virginia found my sticker on one of the dining room tables. It had
obviously been there a year or so.
That evening the mixer was "Ho-Hos
on the Hill!" Stiff drinks from a huge cooler that left me as
drunk as I'd been as a judge. One conversation I remember was with
a guy that knows a lot about the state of the art in wind power.
He said that ten of the huge windmills they are putting up
nowadays give us as much power as a normal fossil fuel power
After going around the lake we were
ready for some sitting. Dan Garcia, this Berkeley Professor type,
had a presentation about the Beauty and Joy of Computing, his
introductory course on programming for high school kids. He said
the course is having good luck getting women to continue taking
programming courses beyond just this first course. For one thing,
the programming language is a matter of assembling building
blocks, so they can't get lost in syntax errors. So many students
give up because of those. For another, they are supplementing the
classroom teaching teachers with online extras and volunteers that
help a lot. What struck Virginia most is that the percentage of
women taking this programming course has increased over several
years from 40% to 65%, and most of his TAs are now women. She was
so excited about the possibilities she's going to take the
information to San Jose High School and see what they think of it.
The next evening was the final round
of the drink competition. Lizzie worked hard on her drinks, making
one for every judge and maybe a few extra for others.
As an also ran from the first round,
Chris was one of the judges this time. He took the job seriously.
To make a long story short, Lizzie won "Best Dressed Drink", but
the big bragging rights went to one of the other other drinks.
Wednesday evening's big event was
"The Blue Review", a camper talent show. Chris and Lizzie did a
cover of "Africa", a hit they both like. Later in the show Chris
and Juliana did an original song. Lots of other campers did
something to. The crowd enjoyed all of it. Good show!
We had to zoom home for a one day
trip on Thursday, so we missed whatever they did then. Got back on
Friday early enough to walk to the lake and try out the boat
Turns out that starting at 4 PM the
boat rental place at Pinecrest Lake has a special deal, two hours
of tandem boat rental for $20. We took them up on that, renting
that blue and green boat. It didn't take long to figure out how to
work together rowing. We then used it to row across the lake and
back. That took at least an hour and a half or so. Got plenty wet
in the process. No problem because it was a hot and sunny day.
Walked home with very sore arm, shoulder, and belly muscles.
Despite that, I had enough strength to lift the camera and take a
picture of somebody else's very fine pine cone arrangement.
That last morning we played in the
creek a bit before hitting the road.