Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Trivial things

So for the last two days at work, I have been in a project management training class with my colleagues. As with many of these classes, the instructor tries to make it fun in order to keep things light and interesting.

This instructor used various versions of Trvial Pursuit, including questions from the original edition, the 80's, and even a Minnesota-specific edition. Teams were awarded points as part of an ongoing contest.

At the end of the training class, the instructor offered sort of a "Final Jeopardy" style question where teams could gamble their accumulated points for one big all-or-nothing wager. Each team would get their own question to answer.

Predictably, the other teams' questions were of the common knowledge variety. Their questions were as follows (the wording might not be exact, but this is the general idea):

Team 1: "What is removed as part of a hysterectomy?" (Note: we all work in a facet of the heath care industry, so asking that question of this group would be akin to letting Phil Mickelson play from the ladies tees in golf)

Team 2: "What liquid product derived from trees is a large part of Vermont's economy?"

As you can see, the other teams got some ridiculously easy questions.

Our question, however (from the Minnesota edition):

"The old Fugles Mill near the town of Simpson, MN, received its power from the north branch of what river?"

You've GOT to be kidding me...

I had never even heard of Simpson, or the old Fugles Mill, for that matter. I thought about it and assumed that Simpson was most likely a tiny, unincorporated locale. It was probably somewhere in southeastern Minnesota, since there were lots of rivers and creeks in this area, and there was something of a milling tradition down there back in the day.

I suggested to our team that we take a guess and say the Root River, since that was one of the "major" rivers in this area.

We answered the question as such...and, we were correct! The town of Simpson, MN was indeed located south of Rochester.

Our team broke out into a raucous celebration, prompting me to openly taunt and shout down the team who just answered the hysterectomy question. Unfortunately, we were aced out by the team who knew that Vermont was known for maple syrup (obviously). But, our late-inning heroic did vault us into second place, so that has to count for something. Here is to the power of deductive reasoning and wild-ass guesses! :)

On to running; the last couple days have seen a return to summer. Absolutely gorgeous weather is upon us at the moment. This afternoon's run was slightly warm in the low 80's, but the humidity is almost nonexistent, making things rather comfy. My run was good. I'm just taking it pretty easy this week.

One thing that occurred to me today is the bridge that I run under is completely devoid of the barn swallows and cliff swallows that were nesting there. They were always around in the summer, but they are gone. Headed south, no doubt. Also, the goldenrods are starting to shed their fine yellow petals, and more and more colors are appearing by the day.

In food news, my roasted tomato pasta sauce from the other night was fantastic. It ended up being a meat ragu with onions, garlic, green peppers, mushrooms, olives (green, black, and Kalamata), and artichoke hearts, so there was a lot going on here. The tomato sauce was out of this world, too. Nothing quite like fresh, in-season tomatoes. This sauce rocked. Yum!

Fresh tomato goodness over pasta



Until next time,

Jean
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