Monday, March 22, 2010

Geek Week

This weekend we had a great visit with Fran in Richmond. We went down on Saturday to see her robotics team at the FIRST regional competition. We also went to watch the competition last year and Nolen remembers the robot and the game that they had to play. That was pretty surprising...I guess this stuff makes an impression on him. The boys had a blast checking out all of the displays and watching the competition. It was really loud though and I think it was a little overwhelming for them after awhile. They are definitely on their way to being little geeks! I'm so proud!

Checking out a setup and robot from the FIRST Tech Challenge.

Playing with a Lego Mindstorm robot. Don't tell Nolen, but Ed wants to get him a Mindstorm set for his birthday so they can build it together. They're pretty cool sets and you can add different sensors, and program them...Ed knows more about all of this than I do! (surprise, surprise!) This one they were playing with had a sensor so that it wouldn't run into anything. The boys had fun with it but I had to drag them away before they completely abused it.

Here is Fran's robot. They are team 1086, Blue Cheese from Deep Run High School. They were chosen by the top seeded team to be in their alliance for the quarterfinals. Their alliance went all the way to win it all!

There were lots of nuances to the game (ways to score extra points and ways to lose points) but in general, each alliance was to score goals by shooting or pushing soccer balls into their own goals. Robots can play defense to try to keep the balls out of the goals. There were two hills that the robots had to climb over to get up and down the field or a tunnel they could go through. Here is more info and a video explaining the rules.

The boys had a break to go swimming at the hotel in the afternoon. Then we went back to watch the finals (Fran's team won!). The awards went on until 8:15!!! The next day we went to a park and the boys had a blast in the gorgeous weather!

Lastly we went to the Science Museum. It was pretty cool! The boys had fun although at times I think they were running through pushing buttons and banging on stuff and moving on...who cares why the arc stays up or the light turns on or the magnetic field...blah, blah, blah. They did slow down to catch some things but not all of them! We saw a cool demo about liquid nitrogen. The boys liked that. Then we watched Rat Basketball. That's right. Rat Basketball! I didn't get a picture of the game, but it was hilarious. One rat grabs the ball and jumps through a bball style hoop. Then he runs to his food tray to get his treat. While he's getting his treat, the other rat grabs the ball and does the same thing...hence the basketball game. It was pretty funny to see.

After some delicious Vietnamese food we headed back to home to MD. We had a great weekend being geeks! Can't wait til next year!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Facebook Statuses that Didn't Make the Cut

So, here a few random thoughts that I DIDN'T post on Facebook...

To the lady in the public bathroom at the mall who was on her cell phone while she was doing her business: Don't ever call me!

To the lady who asked if my shirt that said was referring to Bill O'Reilly...NO WAY! ICK! Do you know me at all? It refers to the publisher to techie books. I guess I can see how you might make this mistake, but I am still trying to get over it.

The other day Nolen chose, "A Soldier's Night Before Christmas" to read to me. I realize it is not Christmas...but a book is a book! He pointed out that the soldiers were sleeping with their guns. I explained that when Daddy was in Iraq, he carried a gun with him all the time but that he never shot anybody. Nolen asked, "Why not? Did he use his sword instead?"

Yesterday I bought the boys some new Dr. Seuss books for Dr. Seuss day. I chose two of my favorites, "Wacky Wednesday" and "I Wish that I Had Duck Feet". It was so fun to listen to Nolen read them to me last night and laugh at all the silly things in each of them. For Max I bought "The Digging-est Dog". Its really cute and the boys were laughing out loud while they read it! So cute!

Also, I have decided to craft less. Its not that I don't enjoy it, its that I spend too much time and money shopping for supplies! At this point its probably cheaper just to buy stuff! HA! However, I whipped up these "Made in China"-quality shirts this morning for the boys to wear. I had already bought the red shirts to applique something else onto them and never got around to it. I used white felt, a sharpie and a glue gun. I kid you not!

I guess that is about all for now. Its time to get this day I have to get out of this basement before I freeze to death. I forgot to bundle up before I came down to the coldest part of our house! Brrrr!