Sunday, January 31, 2016

Loose Ends

Sam had two basketball games this weekend. On Saturday, he played against EthanM, Joseph, and DylanG. On Sunday, he played against Sean Sullivan and EthanW. Sam played point guard, and scored a lot of points but needs to work on cutting down his turnovers. 

Sunday night was time to finish up all of the homework that of course never was mentioned during the last 9 days that everyone has been home for Snowzilla. Also, Dad helped Pete with the configuration of his Access database where he is entering contact info for all of his friends.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

History Poster

Pete did a great job working on his History poster yesterday while Dad was at the office during yet another snow day.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Corn v. Popcorn

Pete went with his friends to see the new Star Wars movie (episode VII). When Pete comes home from the movies, there is usually a tub of popcorn on the kitchen table or coffee table. The tub is about half the size of the table. Pete gets a refill on the way out of the theater, so he has enough popcorn to last him through the week. Ironically, Pete will not eat regular corn when it is offered at the dinner table.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Snowball Dunk

Sam joined Dad for lunch with Brian today at Wegmans. They saw Mr. James (Nick’s Dad) there and also Mr. Doug (Madison’s Dad). They brought home some chicken wings for Pete. After lunch, Sam dunked a snowball from Dada's shoveling pile and then helped Dad finish digging his fort through to Mason’s house.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Stir Crazy

Now that school has been cancelled for the rest of the week, Sam and Pete are getting a little stir crazy. Yesterday they went out the back door and jumped around in the snow in their bare feet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Getting Out of the House

The family decided to take a chance and drive over to IHOP for a late brunch. Fortunately, they found a parking spot around back and it was not too crowded. After lunch, they played in a 20 foot snowbank for a bit. 

Later in the afternoon, Dad and Sam started work on their snow fort/tunnel. Pete also worked on a cave over by the fire hydrant. Pete was lamenting that the snow is only around for a few days, as he would prefer attacking this as a more long-term project.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Laptop Usage

Dad created the above infographic detailing his perception of how Pete seems to spend time on his computer.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Alternate Steering Wheel Designs

Pete, Sam, and Dad probably should not have shared with Mom the discussion they had the night before. It began with Sam asking whether steering wheels had to be circular. Dad said no, they can be in any shape. This led to a variety of questions and ideas, including whether the steering wheel could be a square, a decapitated human head (ears at 10:00 and 2:00), or a movie theater. Pete also came up with the idea of steering based on turning your head, but there were a number of grave concerns with this concept as well. Sam also asked today what would happen if the numbers 2 and 3 were reversed, and if there were no letter “S”. Hopefully the snow plow will come down the street one of these days so everyone can get out of the house and clear their mind.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Blizzard of 2016

The blizzard today (aka "Jonas" or "Snowzilla") resulted in a record 36 inches of snow in Ashburn. The Redskins bubble collapsed and it will be a while before the plows make it down Merrywood Court. Pete and Sam went out to play for a bit. They dumped some Orange Fanta in the snow and made snow cones. Later in the evening, Pete, Sam, and Dad made some snow cones out of the snow stacked up by the sliding glass door in the kitchen. The supplies are starting to dwindle, but still enough to last a few more days. The goal is to get the car out by Tuesday for a trip to McDonalds.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Shoveling Before Bed

This amusing exchange took place during dinner:

  • Mom: I think we'll want to shovel some of the snow before bed
  • Dad: Shovel??
  • Pete: Bed??

(For those who may be wondering, Dad did go out and shovel before bed, which turned out to be the biggest waste of time ever, since of course on Sunday morning there was a perfectly even coating of 36" over everything, regardless of what may or may not have been done on Friday night.)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Last Supper

With the big storm coming, Mom and Dad decided that tonight’s dinner needed to be somewhere out of the house. Fortunately the mall was not too crowded. Maybe everyone was at Home Depot buying snow shovels. Sam got pizza and breadsticks at Sbarro. Pete got Popeye’s, three spicy pieces of dark meat with double fries. Mom and Dad got Chaing Mai Thai. Then Mom went to return some things at Sears and JC Penney, so the boys played at Brookstone and Mind Games. They did some devil sticks. There was also a minion ball that Sam and Dad were able to knock around like a volleyball for a surprisingly long time. Pete found a toy with a picture of a kid that looked exactly like his friend Chris, so he posted that in his group chat.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Blizzard Prep

Preparations for the great 9-day blizzard of 2016 appear to be complete:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Official Signatures

Sam is continuing to make some good use of his calligraphy set that he got for Christmas. Tonight he and Dad signed the form for his English project in style:

Monday, January 18, 2016

Change It To Eleven

Pete received a notification on his phone that due to the cold weather there would be a 2-hour school delay on Tuesday morning. He went upstairs, planning to have the following conversation with Dad:

  • Pete: What time is your alarm set for tomorrow?
  • Dad: Seven o'clock
  • Pete: Change it to Nine!

But Dad had already heard about the delay a few minutes earlier, and reset his alarm, so the conversation actually went as follows:

  • Pete: What time is your alarm set for tomorrow?
  • Dad: Nine o'clock
  • Pete: Change it to Eleven!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

I've Made My Choice

Pete’s tweet summed up this lazy Sunday afternoon: “I know I have better things to do than learn to play Bowling for Soup's 1985 by whistling through my pen cap, but I've made my choice”.

Dad thought this was an amusing bit of fiction, until he got home from Las Vegas and heard Pete in fact play Bowling for Soup's 1985 by whistling through his pen cap.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Good To Know

Pete babysat tonight for Jackson, Reagan, and Kellen. He texted Dad: “When Kellen says ‘horny’, he actually means ‘hungry’.” Good to know.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Unexpected Request

Sam sent Dad a text from the basement, asking him if he could go ice skating with his friends. The only problem is that Dad was at the airport, about to get on his flight to Las Vegas. Dad texted back to Sam that he should go upstairs and check with Mom.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tour De Force

Dad helped Sam set up a game called “ProjectM” on the Wii. They play this at some of the Smash Bros tournaments. It took a few tries, but they got it working. Sam downloaded and extracted some files on to an SD card and then inserted it into the Wii. He went to the Stage Builder and that successfully launched ProjectM! Sam was very happy.

Also tonight, Pete completed his English project on the book 1984. Dad referred to the project as Pete’s “Tour de Force”, as he had put quite a lot of effort into it and it looked fantastic. This definitely went counter to the “Dad Strategy” which is essentially “pretty good is ok with me”. Dad was very proud of Pete for not only reading the entire book, but putting in extra effort, not for the grade but to create something that he would feel legendary about.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Spelling and Geography Bee Dinner

Sam skipped his basketball practice to go to the “Spelling and Geography Bee Dinner” at school. The menu was Papa John’s pizza, salad, and cake. It was not the most thrilling event by any stretch. They read off the names of a few Indian students (the winners) but only one of them was there. So after a few moments of silence, everyone started to eat. There were about 30 people in attendance, which is a bit sparse in the cafeteria. Anyhow, Sam spent some quality time with Mom and Dad. Then he and Dad went back to his locker and cleaned out a few things to bring home. Pete stayed at home during all of this to work on homework go out with Alexandra.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Exploding Tote Bag

Pete’s team at school is in a contest where the winner is the team who brings in the most cans of food for the needy. Mom and Dad have been keeping a stockpile of cans for these purposes, since there seem to be these canned food drives several times a year. Dad was pretty impressed on Tuesday as Pete loaded the entire inventory of cans into a totebag and walked to the bus with it. There were probably a good 20 cans in that bag. Hopefully they won. Also hopefully the bag did not explode prior to Pete getting the cans turned in.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mature Melee Masters

Dad asked Sam about old people in the Super Smash Melee world rankings. He asked what he thought would be the highest ranked player aged 45 or more. Sam said he thought it would be about #300 in the world. Dad found this to be a little bit pessimistic, but the more he thought about it the more he realized that Sam may be right.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Test Scores

Pete received his PSAT scores. He got a 690 on the Math and 700 on the verbal for a total of 1390 (out of 1520). Both were up around 99th percentile.

Sam also received his score for the AMC-8 Math exam that he took in November. He scored a 14/25 which was in the 96th percentile for 6th graders.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Final Destination

Sam had a busy day. He was not happy to have an 8:30am basketball game this morning, but it did turn out to be a fun game. The opposing team had Alex Estes and Andrew Mulieri. Sam played well and his team pulled out their first win, in overtime. Sam stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts and then the team got their photos at Farmwell. Pictured are Vee, Will, Nihar, Matt, Garrett, Ryan, Jalen, and Sam. (Not pictured - "Bill")

His new red shoes arrived in the mail. 

Later in the day, Sam finally unlocked “Final Destination” on Super Smash Bros. Melee, which he had been working on for several weeks. In the evening, Dad dropped Sam off at Stone Bridge for the FSMS vs. Trailside teacher volleyball game. 

Then Dad came home and watched the end of the Steelers/Bengals playoff game with Poppy. The Steelers were up 15-0, but after Ben Roethlisberger got hurt they found themselves down 16-15 with a minute left and Cincinnati on first down deep in Steelers territory. But after a complete Bengals meltdown (fumble and 2 personal fouls), the Steelers managed to kick a game-winning field goal.

Friday, January 08, 2016

Annual Checkup

Dad took Sam to his checkup with Dr Yang in Brambleton. Sam is at the 8th percentile for height and 9th for weight, but Dr Yang said he is “trending well” with the curve. He also said Sam should try to "mix in breakfast sometimes", in addition to his 2 meals per day. The physical portion of the exam had to be abandoned about half way through, since Sam is pathologically ticklish. Sam and Dad discovered in the waiting room that there is a “21 Pilots Lyrics” category in Quiz Up. Sam played it about a dozen times and got a perfect score most of the time.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Morning Routine

Here is the start of Pete's morning routine. It varies, depending on whether Sam takes a shower:

  • "A" day: This is the day that Sam takes a shower before Pete. Pete gets mad at Sam for not getting out of the shower until 7:50am, and then gets in the shower at 7:51am.
  • "B" day: This is the day that Sam does not take a shower. Pete gets in the shower at 7:51am.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Ledo and Powerball

Sam had basketball practice tonight, which means that Mom left dinner as a "wildcard" option. So the boys and Dad went to Ledo Pizza. It was pretty desolate there at 8:00pm – just Kimberly the waitress and her Dad the cook. Dad asked Kimberly to take a picture of them. On the way home, they stopped at 7-Eleven to get tickets for the $500 million Powerball drawing that evening. Pete wanted to pick the numbers, but when he showed his ticket to Dad, Dad explained that picking 4, 20, and 69 is not a good idea since you’ll end up splitting the pot with about 100 other people. So they went with quick picks. Dad was really worried that Pete’s numbers (that he talked him out of playing) were going to be the winning ones. But fortunately that was not the case. In fact, nobody won so now they can get another ticket for the next drawing which is projected to be the biggest in US history! ($750M+)

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


Dad tried to trick Pete with some French, but as you can see in the picture Pete got the best of that exchange.

(Perdant is the French word for "loser")

Monday, January 04, 2016

Back To School

Sam had a fun day returning to school with his new blue hair. William was elected leader of the Werewolf patrol at the Boy Scout Troop meeting. Also, today was final deadline on deciding who is going on the Jordan trip over Spring Break, so Dad could order the plane tickets. Mom convinced everyone to go, so Dad went online and purchased four tickets.

Sunday, January 03, 2016


Sam had an exciting day today. First he went to Jackson’s s birthday party at Pev’s paintball (after Mom and Dad dragged him out of bed twice and convinced him to go). He had a great time. His shoes were a bit dirty though, covered in mud and paint. In the evening, Sarah dyed Sam’s hair blue.

Saturday, January 02, 2016


Today Pete and Sam had some visitors, most of who were en route to Chicago. Ashleigh, Sarah, Anthony, and Aunt Stacey arrived in the afternoon. Earlier in the day, the experiment of waking Pete and Sam up at 9:00am (to get them back on their routine for school) was ok for Sam but did not go as well as planned for Pete.

Friday, January 01, 2016

New Year's Day

Sam, Pete, and Dad slept until about 12:30pm today. Pete decided he is going to stay up all night to try to get back on a normal sleep schedule. We’ll have to see how that turns out. Dad got the year started off right by dinner at McDonald’s at 5:30pm. Actually it was mom’s fault for telling him that she saw a sign that they would be open on New Year’s Day. So once he knew that, the deal was done.