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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday Drive

We went for a drive this afternoon to Half Moon Bay. It was overcast there but we enjoyed the beautiful drive on 92. Passed by little stands offering local honey, fruit & veggies. Drove by a long row of metal sculptures -- dinosaurs, horses & more. All the little Christmas tree farms.

We had lunch at Sam's Chowder House, overlooking Half Moon Bay. Tiny parking lot, massive bowls of clam chowdah.

Next Saturday, we'll be driving through again on the way to the Unfamily Picnic (eeeeearly in the morning). Can't believe it's almost here!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Food Assignments: Coming Soon!

Watch your email inbox next week. Food assignments are being assigned by our staff members over the next few days. You should see them in action. Dry erase boards, phones ringing, big grids on the walls -- it looks like the Pentagon war room.

Training for the Big Day (Part 2)

Now and then through the years, Unfamily Picnic attendees have been known to take a fall. Or a volleyball to the face. Or fall down stairs. Trip over a tree root.

In those instances, the ability to absorb and lessen the impact is vital. Practice at home by pouring marbles across the kitchen floor and attempting to answer the phone in under 30 seconds. You won't likely remain standing, but you will learn how to tuck and roll effectively.

This isn't as easy as it looks. The untrained sitter will suffer back soreness and stiffness in the knees and elbows. Rent something like the Harry Potter series of movies or 10 of your favorite James Bond flicks and watch them all in one session. This will prepare you for a full day's enjoyment in your favorite folding chair.

Carrying a Chinet plate heaped with a burger, bratwurst, potato salad, slices of watermelon, salad and ranch dressing plus some Rice Krispies Treats requires significant balance skills. Practice using an upside down Frisbee filled with expensive crystal goblets. Crystal can be replaced. But that perfectly grilled burger doesn't come along every day. Priorities people.

Training for the Big Day (part 1)

Well, the 2011 Unfamily Picnic is just a few weekends away. So it's a good time to get yourself in shape for the events of the day. Here are some useful training tips.

You'll need to have your insides properly calibrated to enjoy the Unfamily Picnic's assortment of food. Bacon, as any scientist worth his nitrates will tell you, is the perfect food to do just that. Have a few slices at breakfast, a BLT for lunch and a bacon smoothie for dinner. Sensible and delicious.

Tossing horseshoes once a year is strenuous work. Warm up in the weeks ahead by tossing various items and getting your horseshoe arm in tournament condition. Start with things like rolled up socks, advance to heavier items like bowling balls, and finally, suitcases filled with cinder blocks. Because there is nothing as humiliating as emitting a loud grunt only to see your horseshoe land in a cloud of dust midway between the two pegs.

Those folding chairs are not as easy as they look. A pinched finger makes it difficult to hold donuts, too. So spend a little time practicing unfolding and folding your chairs prior to Picnic Day.

If you advance to the cinder blocks in the suitcase level of weight lifting as described previously, no ice chest of any dimension will present a problem.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Legend of "Schinkel Falls"

It's a horrifying tale of raw survival against all odds. Man (or young boy) vs. nature in all its unrelenting cruelty! It is "The Tale of Schinkel Falls" and you can hear the tale told live on Jim Schinkel's annual Hike of Doom.

Yes, once many years ago, little Jimmy Schinkel and his older nature guide, Ranger Rick Basso, were hiking along the tranquil trails alongside Pescadero Creek in San Mateo Memorial Park. If only they'd known the danger that was in store that day!

You'll hear how a joyful stroll turned into sheer terror in a matter of seconds! Hear it LIVE by the SURVIVOR of this epic fail -- er, fall. It's all true! And only slightly enhanced each year! One performance only, Saturday afternoon, August 6, 2011. Be there!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Menu Item of The Day: THE HAMBURGER

Since the beginning, hamburgers and the Unfamily Picnic have gone together like... well, hamburgers and picnics. No, no, wait. Let me try that again. The Unfamily Picnic and hamburgers go together like hamburger and buns. Ok, that's not a good one either. That means the Picnic is buns. It just sounds rude.

Food historians cannot agree as to the official birthplace of the hamburger. Some say it was in Texas. Others say Oklahoma. No one says Hamburg, however, which is kind of strange. I mean, Philly Cheesesteaks don't have this problem. Get it together, hamburgers!

All I know is hamburgers cooked on an open grill are just about the best thing going. The secret to a delicious grilled burger is to not squash it during cooking. Yes, it's cool to do so and hear the furious sizzle of grease on briquettes, to see the flames shoot skyward. But it quickly turns the poor hamburger into a hockey puck. So stop doing it.

Happy Hamburger Day, everyone!