July has passed and with it the first six months of the Obama administration. The daily news cycle has been dominated for weeks now with the healthcare debate. A partial cause for this is that the steady drumbeat of bad news about the economy that has been beating steadily since this time last year has started to ease. The question is now being asked, “Is the recession over?” This is valid question, economic indicators, such as Friday’s GDP numbers, were better then expected. For the stock market, the whole month of July was the best July on record since 1939. Only unemployment, a lagging economic indicator, still trends negatively. The question is, is this last month’s bull market the real turn around of the economy or just a bear market rally. I don’t think that anyone really knows.
Pooh left the Cabin on Friday. She headed east on the Trans-Can to Ottawa. She saw a bear standing on its two hind feet, off on the edge of the forest, just west of Massey, home of the Chutes Provincial Park, but didn’t get a picture. She stayed the night in a dorm room. It was hot. Well at least it was cheap. She drove around Ottawa, looking for the University and found the city very beautiful looking. She plans on exploring it on Saturday.
My promotion was announced on Friday. Woo-Hoo! The other work related activity on Friday involved that morning’s team building activity; yep you guessed it, cubicle golf. This has become quite the enterprise. It has now been expanded from four to nine holes. As per usual our team’s sole objective was not to come in last place (i.e. with the highest combined score). The last place team has to set up the next cubicle golf tournament. Unfortunately, our usual foursome was reduced to two, Barbara and I. We drafted a replacement player, Peter, but that still left us one short. After the first hole we decided how to score our missing fourth player, we would count Peter’s score twice. We completed the course, feeling pretty confident that we wouldn’t finish last. I especially liked the last hole that included Photoshopped likenesses of the last tournament’s winning team as mole obstacles, as from the movie, Caddyshack.
I went back to work and was working hard, (Isn’t that what a team building exercises is supposed to engender?) when Barbara called all in a panic, we had won the tournament! Oh my! Well we both knew that something was wrong, so we headed over to the cube of this tournament’s organizer. We soon figured out the discrepancy, we had been playing with an old stroke limit per hole of six strokes. What I call the mercy rule. The new stroke limit is now eight strokes. According to the system engineer who proudly explained it to us, the old stoke limit had resulted in a standard deviation between the different teams of only one stroke, while the new stroke limit gave a nice distribution of the different team’s scores. We ended up in third place and were happier there then in first.