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In this podcast, you will hear the first part of a conversation between Mark and Jill in which they talk about the upcoming company outing to Vancouver Island.
Mark: Well, here we are again for another EnglishLingQ podcast.
Mark Kaufmann here with Jill Soles. Are you still Soles?
Mark: I don’t know that I ever got the word on that.
Jill: Officially I am, yes. I haven’t changed my name.
We were just actually talking with we had a bit of a powwow in the middle of the day here in the office.
Jill: Friday afternoon.
Mark: Don’t tell anyone, but talking about the company outing that we’re going to be having in August. We thought maybe that would be a good thing to talk about today; just what we do and why we do it. This year we are going to Vancouver Island. Maybe, Jill, you can explain where we’re going.
Jill: Okay. We are going to Vancouver Island which is a large island I think bigger than several European countries.
It’s quite large where there are just a lot of different resorts and different places for people to go and stay for the weekend or camp or whatever so we’re going to a nice oceanfront resort called Tigh-Na-Mara there. You take a ferry from Vancouver that takes about an hour and a half on the ferry to get to Vancouver Island. We are going to go to this resort where we’ll have a game of golf; a round of golf. It’s right at the beach so, you know, you can spend it’s a beach that when the tide is out it goes out about a kilometer.
Mark: It goes out a long way. It’s a phenomenal beach for kids; whatever it’s called, Rathtrevor Beach.
It’s actually part of a provincial park I think. It’s sandy and shallow so it’s great for kids. The water on a hot day gets quite warm and around here the ocean really never gets that warm so if you have a shallow beach where the water has a chance to heat up on a hot day it’s really nice. So, that is nice.
Jill: And it’s full of sand dollars.
Jill: There are sand dollars all over the beach that kids like to collect and clams as well.
Mark: Yeah, for sure.
As the tide goes out all the clams and sand dollars and gooey ducks which are a kind of oyster all kind of I think people we’ve gone out digging for them before when we’ve been there, have we not?
Mark: Yeah, it’s fun. It’s great there. I also want to mention that Vancouver Island isn’t actually a resort island.
Mark: I mean there’s a lot of I guess more than anything, the forest industry is very big there. It’s a big island but, obviously, heavily forested with beautiful coastlines and beautiful scenery. For that reason, a lot of people do go there on holiday.
Jill: Right and the capital city.
The capital of British Columbia, the province that we live in is over there — the Victoria. Our parliament buildings are over there so it’s not just a tourist destination, for sure.
Mark: But a lot of people do. I mean the ferry lineups to go over to Vancouver Island in the summertime on the weekends and the long weekends can be hours, for sure.
Mark: So, yeah, we’re looking forward to going and we were talking about what sorts of things we should be doing. Jill and I were pushing for a karaoke festival.
Jill: Accompanied by a little bit of alcohol just to get people a little bit loosened up.
Mark: You always need a little bit of alcohol when you’re going to be karaoke or we should pronounce it properly for all our Japanese listeners–karaoke. They won’t know what we’re talking about. Yeah, it’s funny, speaking of karaoke, how popular it is in Japan and in Asia. Here it was kind of popular for a while and now you just don’t see it as much I guess.
Jill: About five or ten years ago, I think, actually, several friends, several different groups of people I knew did go to karaoke bars in the lower mainland here in Vancouver quite often but I don’t know. You’re right; I don’t think it’s so common anymore.
I think it was just kind of a fad; something that was cool for a few years and now it’s
Mark: Which is really a shame.
Jill: Oh yeah, such a shame! I miss those times.
Mark: But I think it’s fun especially after having spent time in Japan where you do it a lot. We did it a lot and it’s fun, it’s fun. It’s fun especially when there are people that you know and, you know, none of us are professional singers so it’s good.
Jill: Yeah, so we’ll probably have some karaoke and then I was also saying we should have a poker tournament or some poker games one night. There will be a lot of us and poker has become very popular.
Mark: Well, yeah, maybe it’s replaced karaoke.
Jill: I’m okay with that. Mark: Yeah.
Honestly, though the poker thing, I’m amazed at how popular it is. Like, no one used to play poker at all.
Jill: You turn on the TV and there’s poker on TV all the time.
Mark: Yeah, you know, maybe guys would get together once a year and play a little poker. You know, yeah, I played it on the team bus or in the hotel. We’d play a little bit but now it’s on TV. Tournaments, prize money, people playing online and having friends over and playing poker; I’m amazed. Like, it’s just a total craze.
Jill: Oh, we had a big poker game on Christmas night last year.
Mark: You did, eh, yeah?
Jill: Nine of us after Christmas dinner, we broke out the poker chips and had a poker game, so. It’s really fun though.
Mark: I mean everybody plays now, yeah.
Jill: And it’s really, you know, Texas Hold ’em anyway, I think the most popular version or game of poker that people are playing nowadays, is really quite simple. I mean, I shouldn’t say that because I know there is probably technique involved and skill and all of these different things but, you know, even if people don’t really know what the hands are you can write it down.
Everybody can have a piece of paper that tells them, you know, what hands are worth and you only have two cards in your hand, you know, so its really not that difficult for anybody to learn to play it.
Mark: Right and especially when you are sharing most of the same cards it kind of makes it a bit more social, I guess. You know, you kind of know what everybody is doing and you can see what people are trying to get or you guess at what they are trying to get.
Jill: Yeah, yeah, it’s fun.
Mark: Yeah, it’s fun.
Yeah, as you say, Texas Hold ’em, all the big tournaments and on TV and whatever, that’s the game that they are playing all the time, so that’s the most popular game right now.
I don’t know if maybe it’s become so popular because of Vegas and all the gambling but that’s been around a long time, so I don’t know if there is a correlation.
Mark: I have no idea why. I mean, partly, all the Internet gambling makes it easier, I guess, but that doesn’t really explain why people are playing it more. I guess it’s a good social game that everyone can play together. Everyone can play and that’s a big advantage.
That’s maybe why golf is so popular too. Pretty much, everyone can play golf. People aren’t prevented from playing because of their age or their size or their, yeah, their ability. Yeah, I mean, if you can walk and hold a golf club then you can at least get out there. Obviously, some people are going to be better golfers than others but you can be out there and trying and having a good time.
Jill: Or be like me and just walk around the course with the people that are playing golf and just enjoy the scenery and, you know, be their caddie.
Mark: Well, that’s right and you’re probably having a better time than they are because you’re not frustrated.
Jill: Oh, for sure.
Mark: Yeah, no, I know and the poker is the same way, everyone can play and some people are better than others and there’s a big luck factor involved and it’s fun.
Jill: Yeah, yeah, so, we’ll see how that turns out. Hopefully, we’ll get some games going.
Mark: That’s right.
We are talking it up that we’re going to make it try and liven it up a bit and just try and do more things sort of together where in the past at these outings people have tended to arrive and then disperse and kind of do their own thing
Jill: with their family.
Mark: with their family, yeah.
Jill: The point of this company retreat or outing is to be sort of a team-building thing. Thats the point, right?
Mark: Spend some time with your coworkers away from the office, right.
Jill: See them as real individuals.
Jill: Real people not just a coworker.
Mark: So, we’ll see how that goes. We’ll give you a report later on.
Jill: After the August long weekend.
Mark: That’s right.