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Gophers Before Christmas 2006
Saturday 16 December 2006

Our fifth annual holiday outing to the zoo went without a hitch this year with no trips to the hospital. There was a fair bit of a line to get into the zoo but after that a good time was had by all. The weather wasn't too cold and we got to see just about every corner and every light before it was time to leave. Afterwards we got dinner at Big Boy which was followed by the now-standard lightsaber fight.

Attendees: Josh Gulch, Jeff Osthimer, Chris Berry, Felicity Powers, Katie Mihaly, Charles Meyer, Sean Murray, Devin Collins, Paul Arquette, and Holly Layman.


The street outside the zoo is less than fascinating When we arrived at the zoo there were long lines trailing from each entrance. It took a while to get in but once there were free to stay as long as we like.

Still, as Katie's expression shows, the waiting wasn't the highlight of the night.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Hooray for defeating the lines! We finally got into the zoo! That's cause for celebration!

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Berry was rowdy in line and didn't earn a sip Felicity and Jeff got hot chocolates right after getting in. Berry was not allowed to drink any.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
We left no one behind Paul and Holly came in through the other side of the zoo where the line was longer so it took them a while to get to us.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
The blue represent's Berry's sadness I call this one "Mister Berry and the Very Blue Tree."

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Witty alt text Holly, Paul and Jeff prove that the blue tree is not one of tears and sorrow.

Sorry, Berry.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
On land you command but at sea it is me! Somebody call Burgess Meredith because there be penguins here!

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
There are other ways to use a bronze tiger that I can't tell you about here This year's group shot, sans Jeff who took the picture. Charles is also suspiciously absent.

Devin, Sean, Katie, Felicity, Berry, Holly, Josh, and Paul know all the best ways to use a bronze tiger.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
He's molting!  Like his scaley kin! Inside the reptile house Jeff prepares to peel his face off.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
I mean, come on zoo "Sea Urchin" does not begin with the letter "U."

Jeff is greatly displeased.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
I know some people who would pay for these kinds of pictures It is a fact that if Felicity had been born a cowgirl that she would ride zebras. While Katie runs alongside, apparently.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Or rather, a painting of polar bears Mister Berry cracks his first smile of the evening. To what does he owe this brief amusement?

Polar bears.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
A single picture of Charles is like an hour with Dr. Phil Charles wants you to know that you're awesome, whoever you are!

Give yourself a pat on the back and move ahead three spaces.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
The polar bears bring Berry joy, but pensive thoughts to Holly Holly gazes solemnly into the polar bear exhibit.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Isn't this photo just so oddly dynamic? Berry and Jeff have a very serious conversation over the latter's cell phone.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
She did not pass the written portion of the test Josh and Holly pretending to be friends.

She also has her own photo of this.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
It is like watching the exact moment where God touches fingers with Adam in real time ... over Jeff's head Holly cranes to witness the spectacle of Charles touching Sean's hand over Jeff's head. This sort of thing doesn't happen every day, you know.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
It's like a zoo pit stop, if you will We spent some time hanging out in the polar bear house waiting to regroup while people used the restroom and did their thangs.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Until now we'd all just been kind of directionless Katie is back! Now we can get down to business.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
The railway was an important factor in shaping the nation Felicity is like, totally geared up, 'cause we get to ride the train now!

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
I'm not so sure the other people on the train appreciated us though We took up an entire car of the train, but it was a nice, scenic ride.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Not that that's a bad thing ... some women would pay for that privilege Holly and Paul have a lot to endure, sitting downwind of Charles and Josh and all.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
We will not fight over who is Siskel and who is Ebert and who is Roper We give this train ride two thumbs up!

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
I'd get arrested if I did that This giraffe has no tact.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
He will ... I've seen him do it, too Those who would equate Devin to this pink tree would be wise to amend that thought 'fore he punches you upside your head.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
He can imagine that David Caruso is the engineer It doesn't take a train ride to bring out the merriment in Charles, but it sure doesn't hurt.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Dr. Josh sez: Don't use a tourniquet on a neck wound -- that may make the problem worse It wouldn't be Christmas without Josh getting hurt.

Here he tore his leg open on a power box while getting off the train. A tourniquet made from napkins stemmed the flow of blood nicely.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
And just as delicious for breakfast, too If an exaggeratedly dramatic pose is possible, you can bet that Josh will be on it like jam on bread.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Remember in Total Recall when Arnold Schwarzenegger dressed as a husky woman to get through Mars security?  Well, I think that woman is right behind Felicity. Felicity is in the zoo and feeling fine! What more could you ask for?

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Charles' tree is also bigger, pass it on Berry had a sad blue tree. Charles has a colorful happy tree!

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Katie is not the person you want to screw with Katie is pleased with herself after causing several trees to burst into flames with her mind.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
After all his entanglements with the Paparazzi and all Sean has learned the hard way to keep his wits about him when there is a camera shoved in his face.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
It's tricky trying to include everyone It's time for another group shot, this time guys only.

It's not that we want to promote sexism, but somebody's always going to be left out to take the picture. This way everybody gets to be a part of a portrait.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Maybe next time I'll use the self-timer And now the gal's group shot, all three of them.

There has to be better ways to get everyone on film at once.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Maybe Devin is asking Jeff why he's wearing Berry's jacket Jeff and Devin have a good-natured chat while everybody discusses dinner arrangements.

Dinner would be at Big Boy's, as usual. Getting there would be an adventure, complete with Katie spraining her ankle on her way out of the zoo.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
This is the photo that could lead a campaign Dan went to the zoo but turned back when he saw the huge lines. He met up with us for dinner though.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Yet these pictures never make it onto MySpace Whenever Josh takes his camera into the restroom you know something like this is going to result.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Who is Katie talking to?  He's not part of our group, is he? Devin, Felicity, and Katie in the midst of after-dinner chit-chat.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Why does Berry always look so depressed Dan, Jeff, and Berry later on in the conversations.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Or so it said in the tabloids Dan and Katie: Best Friends Forever!

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
We all know what that is Mingling around in the parking lot after dinner. There's still one thing left to do to complete this evening....

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
Only she'll have to get her hand cut off to make it official Lightsaber fights!

Padawan Powers is so excited that she finally gets a lightsaber.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
God dang it Martha, just look at those kids ... what's this world coming to? You've really got to wonder what normal bystanders think whenever the lightsabers are broken out after these gatherings.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
All like Yoda coming along and being all 'enough this is' It doesn't matter who started this duel; Felicity ended it.

Photo Credit Josh Gulch
VIDEO FILE - Click to view We end with a video. A video of Berry looking suave with his lightsaber.

That's it for this year! See you again in the summer!

VIDEO FILE

Click to view
Running time: 0:06 seconds
File size: 1.52 mb

Video Credit Josh Gulch
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Engaged 4 January 2007 | Updated 4 January 2007