Thursday, March 25, 2010

road rally season...

Before things totally get away from me, I wanted to mention a couple of things that have been happening around here the last couple of weeks.

I read in the Romeo Observer that a local church was hosting a digital photo road rally in the area.  They were doing it as a fund raising event for their church.  Jerome and I love to do games like this.  We were trying to think of who to invite along.  We really could only invite 2 people because we have small cars and you needed to have 4 or more people in your team according to the road rally rules.

Then, low and behold, a couple from our MINI club, Shane and Sara, contacted us on Facebook stating that we really need to get together and do something.  Last time we did something with only them was when we invited ourselves with them to see the movie Bruno.  It was a hilarious movie and we really enjoyed spending time with them.

I asked them if they'd be interested in the Road Rally.  They agreed and thought it would be fun.  Come to find out later they had never done a road rally before and had no clue of what would be required.  I just told them to wear comfortable shoes.

We were handed the rules and we were off.  We had a list of possible photos to take and a list of possible items to bring back.  Each photo and item were differing point levels.  Then there was a column for how many team members needed to be in the photo and then a column indicating the bonus points received if you were able to take a photo with specific elements in the shot.  However, with the Bonus points, they supplied you with a card that said "Bonus".  This card needed to be in the shot along with the team members to indicate that you are meeting the requirements of the bonus.
When we read off the list, we figured that a bunch of the photos and items could be done or found at our  house, so the first stop was our house.  We jumped on the bed, we cut the lawn, we played hockey, we make  a snowman and for the bonus, we dressed him up...etc.
 We had 2 hours to get everything and then meet at Cici's Pizza for dinner and prizes.

We were pretty sure we did OK.  We were lucky as well because Shane is also a photographer, so he took some pretty good shots.

I will tell you the most memorable parts of the game...
We needed to get a shot of 3 team members doing hopscotch. We had chalk and drew up a hopscotch board on the new garage floor...then Shane took another chalk and wrote the word "Penis" in the last square.  He made sure that the word could be seen in the shot.  Weirdo!  Which BTW, Jerome had to scrub off the floor before it seeped into the porous concrete...especially since his parents were coming the following week.

On our way to the next destination we drove by a house with a tire swing...Jerome stopped the car abruptly and he and Shane ran out - Shane could barely fit his leg into the tire and as they were taking the shot, the family was backing out of their driveway.  Jerome and Shane ran to the car and off we went.
 Then we stopped at Westview Apple Orchard because we needed to get a picture with the team sitting on a tractor; bonus if it was a John Deere.  There we saw a stack of hay which happened to be another picture; the whole team on a bale of hay.  That's when we saw them...an army of pick-up trucks coming in our direction from the fields.  We were done with the shot and jumping into the car when one of the pick-ups drove right on top of our bumper so that we couldn't back out.  Shane, Sara and I left Jerome out to handle it on his own (I know, we're chickens) and after it seemed to be taking a while for Jerome to return, I started to head out to rescue him, but by then, Jerome was headed back to the car.  The pick-up backed up and we were able to get out of there.  Jerome said that initially, the guy was pissed and asked what we were up to.  Jerome explained it was a charity event for a local church and pretty much just charmed the guy (Jerome is rather charming).  Then he asked the guy if they had any cows or chickens, since we needed them for other photos...the guy said no and Jerome thought better than to push any further.

More than halfway through the rally, we decided that we should probably read the rules and realized that we did not use the "Bonus" sign in any of our bonus photos.  And the number that we were holding up for the hay bale thing, was the wrong number.  We thought for sure we'd be penalized for that.

Fast forward to the end of the evening.  The organizers really had it under control.  They downloaded all the photos onto their laptop, they had people checking the photos and scoring the points and then later, they projected all the photos on the wall and we were able to see every ones shots.  That was really cool.  The "Penis" shot came up and Shane said he heard some people gasp and say uh-oh...anyway, turns out, we WON first place!  We were the only team there that was not from their church and we took the money and ran...kinda, after we had some all you can eat pizza.

We won a total of $60 of our initial $80 ($20/person) investment.  It came in the form of gift certificates to the
local Big Boys and some cash.

Pretty cool - and for their first time doing a road rally, Sara and Shane did so well.  We want them on our team for future events.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

long story...

My brother is moving into his rental property in Commerce Twp.  He'll be moving from an apartment that he'd been renting month to month since his divorce a year ago.

The rental house was being rented out for the last 3.5 years by a husband and wife, who have decided to move on to cheaper accommodations.

He went over there just over a week ago to assess how much cleaning/paint would be needed so that he could live there comfortably.

He left a post on his Facebook Wall that pretty much said "HELP!"

So, since I'm a part-timer now (have I told you yet that "I LOVE IT!!!"?), I have some time to help him out.

The first day I went over there was Monday, March 1.

It was dirty, but what was more remarkable was how smelly the house was.  You walk around the house shaking your head because you have to try to figure out how it is that people decide to live this way; in dirt, grime, smell, dust, filth.

I told my bro that it would take a week to get the house together.  Yesterday marked the end of  the week and I would say it's livable, but not nearly done.  Good thing it's livable, because he was planning to be out of the apartment yesterday.

I went there to help 4 days.  Jerome came after work and helped as well.  My bro had some friends stop by and do a little something here and there - and his son came by a couple of times to help.

What was accomplished?  All walls were washed down (from all the nicotine stains), the kitchen was cleaned top to bottom, the bathroom was cleaned so that you felt that you could actually use it without getting a parasite.  Blinds were soaked, washed, adjusted and re-installed.  Carpets were cleaned, windows were washed, Living Room, hallway and 1 bedroom were painted.  Shelves were constructed for closets.  Garage and Basement were swept out.  A free washer was picked up (thanks Craigslist).

And he moved from the apartment to the house.