So the second weekend started off with us volunteering at the Fresno Community Food Bank. They’d gotten a huge donation of organic tomato sauce, and it all needed to be relabeled and boxed. We got pointed to pallets of stacks of cans and given our label sheets and told to go. In classic IBM style, we both optimized and measured. Our first row (roughly 260 cans) took us 15 minutes to complete. Pretty quickly we got it down to 4:50, with variances of under 6 seconds for the mid-height cans. (We’d lose some time when we had to crouch to get the ones on the floor). The urge to graph the execution time and to start to apply analytics to it is pretty hard to resist.
Then it was back to our teamroom for a solid afternoon of writing and prep for the presentation, searching for supporting data and detailing our recommendations. It’s the bulk of what we’re doing in this phase, but the process doesn’t lend itself well to terribly exciting blogging.
The next day was Cinco de Mayo, and the Fulton Mall was jam packed with people celebrating. Two stages were up supporting different bands, and the front of every store was filled with tents offering everything from food to insurance. We got to take a short break to check it out, then it was back to writing.
That night we hit the Sequoia Brewing Company, where Ya Xiao got introduced to the idea of a food challenge. There’s a burger called The Yetti – 1/3rd pound of beef, 2 eggs, 2 slices of ham, 4 slices of bacon, some onion rings and condiments – and of course a side of fries. If you can eat it in less than 5 minutes, you win a T-shirt. So with support and coaching from all of Team Fresno, Ya Xiao gave it is very best effort – sadly, The Yetti defeated him, leaving the bun, onion rings, all the condiments and the fries uneaten at the 5 minute mark. He says he’s got a better strategy for it now, and he could take it next time.
On the way home we ran into Preacher Tony and his horse Rex, who tour the streets of Fresno at night preaching to gang members. Tony was really nice, and Rex let us feed him – kind of an unexpected sight to run into on our bike ride home.