Friday, August 15, 2014

Wild Turtle

One of the funnier moments from camp this past week was the "Wild Turtle" incident.  Which oddly did not involve a turtle.

Sam noticed that one of the Scouts from our group looked like the LCS player known as Wild Turtle:

Of course, Dad had to get a picture of him to show Pete.  So Dad pretended to take a picture of Sam and snapped a picture of the rare Wild Turtle lookalike in the wild:

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Camp Snyder - Day 4

Sam and Dad left the tent on Thursday morning with the bittersweet knowledge that it would be theiir last day at Camp Snyder.

Thursday's meals were Pancakes for breakfast, Spaghetti for lunch, and various types of Chicken for dinner.  Song time selections were The Birdie Song and The Shark Song.

Sam and Dad did the following activities on Thursday:

  • Archery and 3 Gun Range
  • More Fishing (with their own rods this time)
  • Frisbee
  • Pack up everything
  • Sam read the book "Loser"
  • "Manhood Test" activities (mostly rehash of the earlier activities during the week)
  • Wiffle Ball
  • Closing Bonfire - Sam, Dad, Alex, and Rex did the "Skittles" skit, which went very well


Station #2 at the 3 Gun Range (wit Svede and Trent):

Possibly the last time Sam will ever shoot a BB Gun:

Almost done packing up the tent at campsite #14:

Ready for the Bonfire:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Camp Snyder 2014 - Day 3

Day 3 at camp was full of promise and optimism, with the rain behind and forecasts in the low 80's for the rest of the week.

Wednesday's meals were Frech Toast for breakfast, Chicken Finger for lunch, and Hobo Dinner.  Hobo dinner means you cook a hamburger patty directly on the fire without a bun.  Song time selections were Alive Awake Alert Enthusiastic, Cheese Moose Song, and The Button Factory Song.

Sam and Dad did the following activities on Wednesday:

  • Forester badge (with Stan)
  • Model Rocket building
  • Space Derby
  • Swimming
  • Frisbee
  • Wiffle Ball
  • Archery
  • Staff Hunt

Photos from Day 3 (now that Dad had his camera back and fully operational):


Working on the Forester badge:

Typical example of Svede not doing what he is supposed to be doing:

Preparing for successful launch of space rocket:

Building the family's 10th Space Derby rocket:

Watching Greg prepare his firepot cobbler:

Having the archery range to himself during the evening open activity (also pictured are Shane, Will, and David):

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Camp Snyder 2014 - Day 2

Tuesday started off damp and got wetter and wetter as the day went on and the rain poured down.

Tuesday's meals were Omelettes for breakfast (which meant Berry Colossal Crunch for Sam), soft Tacos for lunch, and Pork BBQ for dinner.  Song time selections were The Rattlin Can, Calamine Lotion, and Singin in the Rain.

Sam, Dad, Alex, and Rex did the following activities on Tuesday:
  • Boating in the rain - Sam, Dad, and Alex took out a paddle boat.  Then Alex went to the BB range while Sam and Dad took out a canoe for a sublime (and wet) excursion
  • Assembling Dad's new phone (after several trips through the mud back to the campsite and car for Sam's sweatchirt, the car key, etc.)
  • Sam finished reading The Giver
  • Sam went with Alex and his Dad to see "Guardians of the Galaxy"
  • Fishing with Tom (and the omnipresent and omni-annoying Svede)
  • Frisbee
  • Showers (during the dreaded Dodgeball campwide activity)
Sam and Dad discovered some pools of water that had gathered in the tent, which was a bit distressing but they soldiered on.  A flash flood watch was in effect for Tuesday night, so they hoped for the best.  The good news is that it did not rain again for the rest of the week.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Camp Snyder 2014 - Day 1

Sam and Dad stopped at McDonalds and then arrived Sunday evening for check-in at Camp Snyder.  They met Avelino at the campsite and pitched the enormous tent that would be theiir home for the next 4 days.

The special mystery event this week was to look for little space ducks hidden around the campus.  Whichever group found the most ducks each day got to go up first for dinner.

Monday got off to an early start, as a rather loud group of Scouts in the bunkhouse just outside the tent woke Dad at 6am.  Sam managed to sleep until 7:30, however.  This would be his daily wake up time for the week, including Friday after they got home.

Monday's meals were Eggs/Sausage for breakfast (which meant Berry Colossal Crunch for Sam), Turkey/Ham sandwich for lunch, and Fried Chicken for dinner.  Song time selections were The Rooster Song, Penguin Power Team, and Second Story Window.

Sam, Dad, Alex, and Rex did the following activities on Monday:

  • BB Guns (which Dad discovered Sam really does not enjoy)
  • Archery
  • Fishing - Sam had to use the bamboo rod this time, since Dad was at the Verizon store
  • Disc Golf - Each person designed 2 improv holes
  • Milk Bottle knockdown
  • Swimming test and swimming - Sam and Dad's first encounter with Svede, the Scout who does not listen
  • 2 on 2 Soccer
  • Cornhole with Avelino
  • Indoor Bonfire (due to the rain)
  • Lots of Wiffle Ball

At the indoor bonfire, Shane and David did the Space Worm skit, which was quite possibly the funniest skit that Sam and Dad had ever seen.

Back at camp, it rained all through the night but Sam and Dad stayed dry in the trusty tent.  Tuesday, however, would be another story.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Raingutter Regatta and Camp Snyder Preparation

Sam and Dad had a busy day on Sunday.  They packed up the car so they could go directly from the Raingutter Regatta to a week away at Camp Snyder.

Here is a picture of Sam's boat:

Here is the packing list for camp:

Large Tent
2 Sleeping Bags
2 pillows
2 Medical Forms
Batteries - Headlamps, GPS, flashlight, lantern
Tools - small tool kit, multi-tool, small hammer, nails
First aid kit
Board Games - Uno, Blink, Make 'n Break, Apples 2 Apples Jr, Crazy Old Fish War
Scavenger Hunt baggie and list
Water bottle
2 Uniform shirts
Webelos hat
Webelos neckerchief
2 bathing suits
Clothes - 5 days in ziploc bags (shirt, boxers, shorts, socks)
2 extra pair shoes
2 pairs flip flops / boat shoes
Cell Phone
Cell Phone 2 wall chargers
Cell phone 3 charging blocks
3 ponchos
2 sweatshirts
3 Books - Giver, Loser, Brain Trust
2 towels
Bug Spray
2 Flashlights
2 toothbrushes
Webelos Book
List of completed achievements for Sam and Alex
List of activities / electives for break times
Wiffle Ball
Wiffle Ball Bat
Baseball glove
1 blue golf disc
1 regular frisbee
Twin air mattresses
Coleman air mattress
Telescoping skewers

The only item they forgot was Sam's sunglasses.

Within about an hour of arriving at camp, Dad's phone had a catastrophic failure.  Dad missed a little bit of archery and fishing on Monday morning for a brief excursion to the Verizon store.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Bike Ride WOD Trail

Mom, Dad, and Sam took a nice bike ride on the WOD Trail up to Trailside Park.

They played in the Park for a while, which was pretty empty, and then headed home.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

National Night Out

Dad and Pete walked over to National Night Out at the Lakes Recreation Center for some free ice cream.  Sam was sick, so he stayed home with Mom.

Dad mentioned to Pete on the way there that they were going to have police cars available for the kids to look at.  This led to the following conversation.

Dad: I bet you've always wondered what it would be like to sit in the back seat of a police car
Pete: [Pausing] Yeah... wondered

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Family Portrait

You are probably wondering how the above photo is a family portrait.  However, take a closer look to see if you can figure it out.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Stone Bridge Basketball Camp

Sam had fun at Stone Bridge Basketball Camp this week.  This was his second basketball camp this summer, the earlier one being at Broad Run.

Sam was pleased to be on the team that won the camp championship.  The other players on his team were:

As his championship prize, Sam received a Blow Pop and Capri Sun.

Given the size of his team, perhaps it would have been easier to list the campers who were not on the team.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Chicago Trip 2014 - Final Day

The last day of the July 2014 Chicago vacation started in Heath, Ohio.  At breakfast, Dad's phone recommended a trip to Dawes Arboretum.  So they headed there before the drive home.  It did not disappoint.

Once again, the recommendation was spot on for dinner at Da Vinci's Pizza in Cumberland, MD.

They got back into town just in time to go to Broad Run Band spirit night at Sweet Swirls.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chicago Trip 2014 - Day 7

Monday began with a visit to Navy Pier.  The rain did not dampen anyone's spirits.  They were used to it, as it had rained off and on for most of the time in Chicago.

After getting off the bus, they did a walking tour of the Navy Pier area.

The Funhouse was enjoyed by all, followed by spirited games of Time Freak and Atomic Rush (which could also be called "Button Push Freak" and "Atomic Button Push").

Pete bought a "jumper", and Sam some Chicago pajama pants.  Dad found an indoor geocache.

The car needed to be moved from the miraculous parking space by 4pm, so it was time to leave Chicago and begin the long trip home.  Dinner was Chipotle in Indianapolis, and the evening's lodging was in Heath, Ohio.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Chicago Trip 2014 - Day 6

Today the group headed out to the beach.  Specifically 41.9139092,-87.6238724.  Lake Michigan.  Probably the first beach anyone had been to that was not on the Atlantic Ocean.

The water was frigid.  Sam went out with Uncle Steve to do the "Polar Plunge".  Then he convinced Dad and Pete to do it as well.  It was a sensation they will not soon forget.

After grabbing some lunch at Castaways, the boys played in the sand.  Sam built a castle and helped to bury Pete.  Dad made a ball tunnel roundabout and a beach ball golf hole.

On the way home, they stopped again at Taste of Chicago (after walking through what seemed like half of the city).  Sam played some Madden in the video game booth, while everyone got tickets and ate some tasty Chicago foods.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Chicago Trip 2014 - Day 5

Everyone enjoyed some waffles at a restaurant called "Waffles".  Then they hopped on a series of buses to the Lincoln Park Zoo.  They found a few geocaches at the zoo and then one more in Roosevelt Park on the way home.  The evening included babysitting for Payton and having dinner at the condo, followed by some fireworks on the Navy Pier, visible from Shedd Aquarium.

Mom, Dad, and Pete went to the fireworks.  It was raining pretty hard as they walked to the Shedd aquarium, so they turned back.  Sure enough, the fireworks started so they watched them from the 11th Street bridge.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Chicago Trip 2014 - Day 4

Day 4 was a driving day.  After checking out of the hotel, they made the 5-hour drive to Chicago, with a brief stop in Indiana for lunch and a geocache.

After settling in at Uncle Steve and Sabrina's condo, and securing a parking spot, they took Isabella for a rainy walk and to get some free July 11th Slurpees.  Dad, Pete, and Sam went over with Peyton and Uncle Steve to "Taste of Chicago" while Mom and Sabrina went to get a Reflexology massage.  Pete got a good taste of Chicago, with a Fire Grilled Steak Taco, Windy City Hot Dog, and Rib Tips.  Sam got Connie's deep dish pizza.  Then of course there were enough tickets saved up for Rainbow Cones and Dream Cups.  Topped off by a turkey leg to bring back to the condo.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chicago Trip 2014 - Day 3

Dad and Pete got up at 7:30am, grabbed the buffet breakfast at Mango Mike's in Castaway Bay, and then Mom dropped them off at the Park at 8:45 for the early entry admission.  Mom stayed back at the hotel with Sam, and ended up going by herself to the buffet.  She was ultimately able to get Sam out of the hotel and into the park to meet Dad and Pete at Dodgem around 10:30.

These were the rides they did on the second day in the park:

  • Millennium Force
  • Magnum XL-200
  • Top Thrill Dragster
  • Dodgem
  • Iron Dragon
  • Mantis
  • Sky Ride
  • Witches Wheel
  • Wave Swinger
  • SkyHawk
  • Mean Streak

(went back to the hotel for a few hours.  Dad deployed a few Munzees and found a geocache.)

  • Maxair
  • Windseeker
  • Sir Rub-a-Dubs Tubs (again, pictured below)
  • Maverick
  • Skyhawk (again)
  • Top Thrill Dragster (again)

When leaving the park, Dad consulted with his app to see where the car was parked.  It thought it was parked at the exit to the Dragster.  That 120 miles per hour ride convinced the app that they had done some more driving.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Chicago Trip 2014 - Day 2

Departure time was 9am from Piittsburgh for the drive to Sandusky, Ohio.  After a brief stop at Wendy's, they arrived at the Breakers Express hotel around 1pm, checked in, and went over to the Cedar Point amusement park.

These were the rides they did on the first day in the park:

  • Ocean Motion
  • Raptor
  • Blue Streak
  • Power Tower (pictured below)
  • Gemini
  • Pipe Scream
  • Corkscrew
  • All Wheels Extreme stunt show
  • Giant Wheel (pictured below)
  • Wicked Twister
  • Sir Rub-a-Dubs Tubs
  • Gatekeeper

Sam's cool new sunglasses:

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Chicago Trip 2014 - Day 1

Everyone headed out around 6:30pm for the first leg of the trip.  They stopped at Redbox to pick up "21 Jump Street" and "Non-Stop".  After almost running out of gas, they grabbed a snack at a rest area on the PA turnpike (Famiglia's Pizzeria) and arrived at the Junkers residence around 11:00pm.  This left enough time for a "quick" League of Legends game with Eric and the a few hours of sleep.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Rivah

The family went down again this year for a weekend to the Markowitz's vacation house on the Potomac River in Heathsville, Va.

Activities included the following:
- Hedbanz
- Fishing (In addition to lots of Croakers, Pete caught one of Ethan's old crocs, and Sam caught an eel!)
- Boat ride
- Riding around in Dune Buggy / Go Kart
- Walking the condemned dock in Snail Creek
- Steak dinner
- Second boat ride with adventure rafting
- Swimming in the river
- Kayaking (Mom/Dad/Pete) with a stop at "B" Beach
- Bonfire / S'mores
- Walking around the neighborhood
- Crafts

Everyone said they had a great time.  Can't wait to go back again next time!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Picture People

Nana wanted to get a family portrait for the extended family, but it was impossible to find one date that everyone could get together.  So she asked if we could do some portraits of the local family.  Everyone went over to Picture People at the mall and got some pretty good shots:

You can't see it, but in that last photo, Pete and Sam are actually midair, about a foot above the ground.

The guys all wearing blue actually wasn't planned - it just worked out that way.

About an hour later, the pictures were ready and everyone was ready for dinner so they went to the food court at the mall.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mile Run

Pete came to Dad last week for advice.  He had run the practice race for the mile run at school and had done poorly.  He ended up having to walk and finished in about 12 minutes.  His goal had been to finish in under 8 minutes.  To prepare for the final race, Dad gave the following strategies to Pete:

1. Caring - Before anything else, you must decide if you care about getting a good time.  If you do not care, nothing else will work.  Decide why you care about getting a good time and make sure you are fully committed to it, without any doubts.

2. Ghosting - Find another runner who is running at the pace that you want to run.  You can do this before the race, or find someone just after the race starts.  Shadow this person.  Stay 20 feet behind them.  Never let them get any further ahead of you.

3. Runing Through Pain - During any run you will experience some pain.  In your case, this is likely to be either cramping or pain in your shins and knees.  You must run through the pain.  Your brain will make the pain seem worse than it is.  Ignore the pain and keep running.  It will go away.

4. Rest at the End - As soon as the race is over, you can rest.  Your pain will go away and your breath will come back.  This will come soon if you stick to your other principles.

5. Song Cadence - Use a song to keep your running cadence.  Pick a song before the race.  You don't need to know the words or use headphones.  Play the song in your head as you run.  Adjust the tempo, as needed, to keep up with your ghosting partner.

6. Don't Stop - You may feel compelled at some point to slow to a walk, or stop completely.  Do not stop running.  If you run all the way, you will have a great chance to achieve your goal.

Dad was very happy to hear of the results of Pete's mile run on Monday 5/12/14.  Pete used all of the above strategies and finished in 7:53.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Laser Lab

Sam had a requirement for his Cub Scout Scientist badge that was to visit a Scientist at his lab.  Dad's friend Brian was gracious enough to take Sam and Dad (and Patti) on a fun tour of his lab in Herndon where they make custom lasers for government projects.  It was a Saturday, and there were a lot of people working but the labs were pretty quiet.

Sam and Dad stopped at Taco Bell on the way to the lab, where they saw a sign spinner who had participated in the 2013 Sign Spinning Championships in Las Vegas.

At his office, Brian showed them some of the historical lasers that his company had built.

Then they visited two labs.  The second one was a clean area so they had to scrub their shoes in the shoe machine:

And then wear special clothes into the lab:

Sam got to wear Brian's' goggles, that protected him against any color laser except orange:

Then they experimented a bit with the thermal camera.  Can you see Sam's handprints on the wall?  The camera can:

It was a fun and educational experience.  Thanks Brian!

Dad told Pete that he could get a job as a laser technician in Brian's lab with 0-2 years of college.  He thought this idea would be well-received.  However, Pete said he was not interested since he does not like lasers.