The meetings weren't quite so thick today, though Jeanne did appear first thing in the morning and we got her into the Engineering meeting with everyone else first thing. That was really nice, to have everyone in the room rather than someone on a phone somewhere. All face to face and she says that no one looks the way that she thought they'd look. That was pretty amusing. She thought I'd be small with short hair, as I think that some of my pictures on my home page have me with shorter hair.
The day flew by and Jeanne was actually able to use Buttercup, my Ultra 10 machine, and use her for something useful, like getting at her email, checking up on the progress of many things and generally getting something done there that I couldn't have. It was really nice to have her here and talking with her fairly constantly. She has a lot of experience with coding and with creating things and engineering and Bob and I went out to lunch with her to Wok and Roll and had a really great lunch conversation.
I think that our group may be somewhat unique, in the whole mix of social and even personal relationships within the group as well as all the business relationships. It's solid and eventhough the old Synario folks make up less than half the group, I think it's transplanting to this new soil, which is a very good thing indeed and is providing support that all of us are leaning a bit on and are relying on in the long run. It's actually fairly unique, from what I've heard, and I'm glad of it.
Sadly, I had a 4-5 meeting that ran until 5:30 and then I boogied out of here, gathered up John and we zoomed home, and on the way home we thought through the whole list of things that we really needed to get done and in what order. When we reached home, we then went into a whirlwind of activity and got the chickens on the grill, the lemonade made, the ice tea brewed and made cold, and then the smoke started billowing into the house. The fat from the chickens was hitting the screens over the flames and burned off of them with a huge amount of smoke. So we were more smoking the chickens than actually grilling them. That was pretty wild for a while, until we figured out that closing the door to the back patio really helped. I think, in the future, we're just going to spit roast the chickens the day or two before and just make it work that way, instead of this fire alarm and eyebrow singeing process that it was. John lost most of his eyebrows and the hair just over his forehead when one of the chickens burst into flame when the grease caught fire. Oops.
It made me giggle a lot when I saw his crisped eyebrows, though.
Folks arrived a bit before 6:30 and then steadily thereafter. It was really cool as folks connected in conversations really readily and all three visitors really looked like they were enjoying themselves and ready to participate. That was really fun and all the families came with kids running about and soon it was a regular party! While the chickens were cooking I was making some really simple peach pies, where I'd quartered half a dozen peaches to start, used the food processor to do a quick short crust, which was just butter and shortening a couple tablespoons of each, beaten into flour with ice water on top of that to a soft dough, which rolled out easily. Flour and brown sugar at the bottom, a layer of the quartered peaches on top of that, some brown sugar sprinkled on that, and then a bit of butter and cinnamon before folding the edges up so that the juices wouldn't run everywhere. Simple, easy, quick, and then they were shoved into a very hot oven to bake while people ate.
The food all got piled up on the table and folks helped themselves and soon folks were all sitting outside, enjoying the cooling evening and talking and eating and everything. That was really good. The conversations outside lasted well after dark, as did additional conversation inside until John got out one of the Wallace and Gromet tapes because Steve, our manager, had never heard of them. So John put the tape in and soon all the kids and the grown-up kids were watching the Claymation, oooohing and ahhhhing and cheering at the end. That was really fun to watch. The peach pies were pulled out, cooled a little before they were nearly instantly devoured. There is nothing like fresh peaches.
Fezzik wandered happily about, getting petted by everyone. He hung in with the crowd, pushing his big body into the tightest spaces as everyone that had him by their sides would pet him or scritch him and they all liked it when he'd push up against them when he wanted more petting. Jeanne, when she was still in her car and getting ready to come in was really startled when this *HUGE* dog head pushed itself into the window of her car. Fezzik was just curious as to what she was doing. She realized very quickly that he was harmless and even fun to pet. It was funny watching Fez wait at folks elbows as they ate and just watched them all intently to see what they might drop, forget, or leave behind. I had to scold him a little when he started checking out plates with people in front of them still.
Everyone said that they had fun and folks left reluctantly as kids fell asleep instantly on being set into cars. Fezzik did his rounds, cleaning up all the food that fell on the ground as John and I tossed paper plates, cups, and plastic silverware. I cleaned all the leftover chicken meat off the bones and froze the mass of cooked meat for casseroles and soup later in the week. The corn and pies were nearly perfect in quantity, as in all of it got eaten.
So cleanup was swift and painless and John got a lot of dishes cleaned while I was deboning meat. So we went to sleep at a good and reasonable hour, very happy with how well it all turned out.