Dave and Cathy's Family Blog

July 30, 2017

July 2017 – Family Updates

Filed under: Lilah and Luke,Mom and Dad — dave9169 @ 9:51 pm

July Highlights:

  • Take cousins boogie boarding
  • Visit our friends Randy, Janae, and their girls in San Diego whom we hadn’t seen since 2013
  • Lilah working hard in her intern job
  • Luke completes 3-day volleyball camp

Take a Quick Trip to San Diego to See Old Friends

The days, weeks, months go by so quickly that we hadn’t realized it had been around 4 years since the last time we saw Randy and Janae. We made up for that by spending a day and a half with them in San Diego. It was a short, but concentrated visit where we got a chance to visit San Diego State University, have good BBQ and convo at Randy’s place and hang out at Mission Beach where we cruised the boardwalk, and did some paddle boarding and boogie boarding before hitting the Sunday afternoon traffic back to Ventura county (a good four-hour return trip, but with a stop at our favorite Indian food place in Woodland Hills – Shalimars – to bring some smiles to the weary travelers).  

Since we go back so many years with these guys, the visit conjured up a lot of good memories and the re-telling of some classic stories, like the time Randy and I traveled through Spain on the cheap, surviving, in most part, on a diet of canned tuna, crackers, cheese and apples. It’s an anecdote we like to contrast to similar trips we did with our wives and how those trips weren’t done as economically because the ladies insisted on being fed a more substantial diet.

We also had to recount the time I got bamboozled into buying $1500 worth of rugs at a Moroccan rug bazaar while traveling with my flatmates during my semester abroad in England. It was part of the same tuna can diet trip, before Randy and I broke away from the rest of the group to do some more exploring in Spain. The short of it is that our tour guide took us to this rug bazaar where they served us tea and began to show us their wares which included these expensive rugs that the proprietors of the shop assured us we could turn around sell in England for $10,000. Another flat mate of mine got pumped up in that profit potential and before you know it both of us had plunked down $1500 to purchase these rugs that were supposedly the best quality because “look they don’t burn,” the Moroccans would say as they held the flame from a lighter right next to the rug without it catching fire. This was supposed to highlight how these were made of really high quality wool or cashmere — not some kind of fake synthetic fabric that would obviously catch fire (in our naïveté and excitement, we bought into the story).  

My flatmate, Mark, shipped his rugs directly from the bazaar to California. I on the other other hand, had the presence of mind to keep the rugs with me, which at the time did not seem like the greatest idea. I remember Randy and the crew constantly making fun of me as I struggled to lug the rugs around with me the rest of the trip. They were about 40 lbs. and I basically carried them in my arms which entailed putting my arms around them in a big bear hug, while I also strapped my travel bag (a heavy tote bag) onto my back — a piece of gear that was never designed to be carried that way as I would learn when the thin nylon straps left abrasion marks on my shoulders — and tried to keep pace with the group as best I could. Not the most comfortable way to spend the rest of my trip for sure, but I had a back up plan, which was to ditch the rugs and claim them on my credit card insurance if I wasn’t able to find a way to sell them in the UK.

The back up plan would eventually become my go-to plan as I learned that really there was no way to sell the merchandise I had bought in Morocco in England — at least not for that 10K dream price or anything close to that for that matter. But there remained one thing left for me to do in order to execute the plan. I had to perform the best acting job of my life at Heathrow airport. When all the students got off the bus and all our gear was unloaded on the sidewalk, I waited a few minutes and then went into my performance and began asking other students if they had seen my package of rugs. Of course, nobody had seen them since I had never brung them along with me, leaving them with some English girlfriends instead. I then proceeded to find two British police officers and told them my story about how one minute my rugs were on the sidewalk and the next they were gone. I told them the rugs were a 25-year wedding anniversary for my parents. They appeared very sympathetic, wrote up a report and before you know it I was on my way with the documentation I needed to claim the lost merchandise on my credit card insurance. In hindsight, I wish I hadn’t done any of that stuff because it led to a lot of discomfort and stress, but, a at the same time, it sure makes for a great story. Lilah and Luke actually got a kick out of that tale.   

Lilah Gets Her First Paycheck

Lilah has been working hard this summer. She keeps a pretty full schedule as she continues to swim (sometimes with me), be an active staff member of her Kiwins volunteer club, do her summer school homework, practice pian and work at her summer internship called RC Makers. RC Makers was started by a guy named Dave Gross who donated $250K to Lilah’s school to create a program designed to give high school students an early start in the world of entrepreneurship. RC Makers is a student-operated job shop that makes products for sale, manufactures goods for outside clients, incubates startup businesses and rents out its space and equipment to local companies and community members.

So far, the business has managed to about break even after they successfully created and mass produced fidget spinner toys. What’s cool about the business is that they have a lot of great equipment for making things such as power tools, laser cutters, 3D printers, and sheet metal machines. Students from the various academies at her school, then work together to make and market the products and services they produce. It’s a cool set up and can read more about the program in this article

Lilah likes the internship program and said she wants to continue doing it even when school starts back up. She was also really excited when she received her first paycheck for $172. She used about $81 of that to go old school and by 7 vinyl records, mostly from her favorite band, Queen. Seems like every day Lilah is adding something new to her repertoire of skills. In addition, she now has a bank account and debit card, making her more independent than ever. I think this kid may be going places ;).  

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