Saturday, April 30, 2016

Wildflower Planting

Dad and Pete planted their flowers today from Grandma. In the big flowerpot, they planted the Shasta Daisies in the middle and the Forget-me-nots on the outside. In the flower box, they planted the wildflower assortment. Pete went with more of the sprinkle method, while Dad used the bury method. We’ll see in a few weeks if anything comes up, and which method worked better.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Mystery Band Photo

Sometimes Dad finds random pictures on Facebook and decides that they would be good to use for a blog post. In this case, it is not clear what the story is behind this picture that was apparently taken back during band season. Whatever the situation is, Pete does not seem to be very happy about it.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Band Concert and Nagoya

Tonight was Sam’s 6th grade band concert. Sam and William were the only two saxophones. They did a great job, especially on the solo (“Ode To Joy”) which was the best of all the solos during the so-called “Instrument Palooza”. 

The band played “Frenzy”, “Union March”, “Rockology”, and “Creature Feature”. Sam did a great job! The four of them stayed to watch the second band performance (they split the band into two this year to have smaller performances). Garrett played saxophone in the second group (and Ethan was on percussion). After the concert, they went for a late Nagoya dinner to celebrate everyone’s good grades on the 3rd quarter report cards. They sat with a family from Stone Bridge. Sam ate all of his dinner this time, since Dad told him to order the kid’s portion or else he would have to pay the difference, unless he finished. They also went an impressive 7 for 8 on the mouth catching of the shrimp (2 tries each).

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chamber Choir Spring Concert

Pete had his Spring Concert tonight. Sam sat in the back with Jack, Jennifer, and Lindsay. Pete's choir group (Chamber Choir) did these songs:

  • Wana Baraka* (which they also did previously at the assessment)
  • My Good Lord’s Done Been Here*
  • In Remembrance

* Included solo by Pete

Pete's group were also in the opening song (Kawouno Wan Gi Pi) and closing song (That Lonesome Road) in which they joined with the Women’s Choir, Gospel Choir, and Jazz Choir.

After the concert, Sam went with Jennifer and Lindsay to Chipotle. He was not interested in the grilled chicken that was for dinner. Pete also had apparently made his own plans to go out for dinner after the concert. The grilled chicken would have to go back into the fridge.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Steak and Song List

Dad grilled some steaks tonight. As usual, the apportionment was: Pete – largest steak, Mom/Sam – share 2nd largest steak, Dad – smallest steak. Pete also shared with everyone at dinner the list of songs that he would be singing in tomorrow’s concert. He is going to have two solos – pretty good for someone in chorus for the first year.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Thanks is Better Than Sorry

Dad helped Pete check his math homework. On two earlier occasions this year, Dad gave Pete's homework a quick scan, and then found out later that it was a homework “quiz” that counted a lot. Pete got a low score on those quizzes. So Dad was not going to make that mistake again. He is now treating homework assignment reviews like exams. 

The subject of this assignment was instantaneous rate of change word problems. Pete had to explain to Dad how to do it, so Dad could check the answers. It took Dad about an hour to check 8 problems. He was very impressed with Pete’s work. The problems were very difficult. A sample question would be something like: “you are removing water from a conical tank at 20 gallons per minute. How fast is the water level rising at the instant when the diameter of the tank is 12 feet.” Pete neatly wrote out all of the steps for each answer. Dad was pleased that he did find one mistake, so the time spent was worthwhile. Pete also taught Dad something else the following morning. He was going to say “sorry it took you so long to check my Math” but instead he said “thanks for checking my Math”. He had heard somewhere that it is better to say “thanks” than “sorry”. Which made sense to Dad too.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

URF Weekend

Today was the final performance of Pete’s musical, and Sam returned home from his trip with the Boy Scouts. Sam stayed up an extra hour so he and Dad could watch the championship match of Summit on Twitch between Armada and Hungrybox. Sam decided not to do any homework today since it was URF weekend on League of Legends.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

USS New Jersey Trip

Dad was out of town on his golf trip, so Mom dropped off Sam for his Boy Scout trip to the USS New Jersey.  He enjoyed staying overnight on a submarine.

Later in the evening, Dad went to see Pete’s play at Broad Run.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Free Pass

Mom went with her friend Donna to see Pete’s show this evening. It started at 7:10 and was over around 9:45. Mom got in for free since she is a teacher.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

H2S Opening

Tonight was the opening for Pete’s Spring musical. 

Sam received a medal at his after-school Chess Club for finishing third in the last tournament. They started a new tournament today.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sick Day

Sam and Dad were planning to go for a retainer check and then to Coney Island Diner for the $3.99 breakfast special. But Sam was still not recovered from the “Mom Cold”, so they went home after the appointment and he stayed home from school. He did get a chance during lunch to practice on the saxophone for his upcoming concert. Dad thought he sounded great.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Dad took Pete this morning to get his allergy shot. They liked the new doctor’s note template that the allergist had, which actually says “Doctor’s Note” at the top. William came over today after school to play some Melee 20xx and Smash 4 with Sam.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Frayed Knot

Sam brought his frayed rope, lighter, and scissors to the Boy Scout meeting tonight and was able to fuse the rope. So he only has one requirement left to earn his Tenderfoot rank. Pete got home from school around midnight – rehearsal until 9pm and not sure about the 3 hours after that but he walked in with a cup from Chick Fil A, which seems to be a clue.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

20xx Repairs

Dad and Sam had to do some repairs today to the 20xx installation, since it was not the version that Sam wanted. They tried a few different things to get the iso file to work on the Wii. In the end, it turned out that they just needed to replace the iso file in the GAMES folder on the SD card with the updated iso file (and make sure the file name did not have any spaces in it). After all of this, Sam was happy (for the moment).

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Science Festival

Mom and Dad went downtown today to the DC Science Festival. Sam said he was going to go, but then changed his mind. He stayed home with Pete. In the evening, Dad and Sam got the Homebrew channel and 20xx installed on the Wii, which will enable Sam to practice better for his Melee tournaments.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Prom Night

Dad returned home today from his Pennsylvania trip to help Grandpa after his surgery. The boys were also home from school. Sam went to Zinga with his friends, so Dad and Pete had McDonald’s for lunch. It was also prom night. Pete had a good time with Jennifer and Phoebe.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Battery Carcass

If you send Sam down to the basement to get you a 9-volt battery, you should not be surprised to find this empty battery package carcass the next time you go to get one.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Late Plate

Mom’s plate was broken when Pete was emptying the dishwasher. It was fun while it lasted. Mom will have to start using an ordinary plate for dinner. She is planning to glue it back together and find a place to display it.

Presumably this also means that 6-year-old Sam is off the hook for writing "200g" as the year on the plate.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

School Pictures

Sam did not like his school picture this year, so none were ordered. Above are the fall and spring pictures.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Late Rehearsals

Pete has been having late rehearsals this week in preparation for the Spring musical.

One thing this extra time has helped him learn is that he does not want to take Theater class next year if Mrs. Halloran will be returning as the Theater Director. Odds seem even at this point of her returning.

One thing Pete and Sam have learned from Dad is that if something is working out, there is no shame in moving on to something else.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Piano Tiles 2

Sam and Dad have been playing an app called Piano Tiles 2. There was one song in particular called “The Fountain” by Carl Bohm that was very challenging, but Dad and Sam both got 3 diamonds on it. Sam uses the two-thumb technique, while Dad lays down the phone and uses the index fingers. The new challenge they are working on is called “Fantasie – Impromptu” by Chopin. Sam may have reached the point where the two-thumb technique will start to fall short.

This app is actually a great way to become aware of the legendary pieces of classical music.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Smash and Tuxedos

Dad and Sam went down to Fredericksburg, with their usual stop at Arby’s and then the Smash tournament at University of Mary Washington. Dad found an empty room 213 on the main level. Sam played Melee and Project M. He went 0-2 in Melee, but was pleased that he won two sets in the consolation bracket of the PM tournament. They stopped at the campus pizza spot for dinner, and braved the cold winds on the walk back to the car. Meanwhile, Pete and Mom went to the mall to get Pete’s black pants and tie for the musical, as well as his tuxedo rental for next week’s prom. They were careful to make sure Dad was sitting down before telling him how much it costs these days for a tuxedo rental.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Multiple Musicals

Mom was home today recovering from her kidney stone procedure. She went over to Broad Run after school to help Pete hand out posters for students to distribute for the musical. Sam went back to Farmwell at 6:30pm to meet up with his friends to see the Lion King school musical. Then he practiced a bit for tomorrow’s Smash tournament in Fredericksburg.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Dad's Choice

Pete and Dad fixed the cracked toilet arm with some super glue and duct tape. They figure it has about a 50% chance of working. Tomorrow they will test it. Dinner tonight was listed on the Cozi calendar as “Dad’s Choice”, since Mom had her laser kidney stone surgery. Dad chose Ledo. There was a pretty bad show on the TV there, in which Steve Harvey finds a kid who had a viral Youtube video 2 years ago and then interviews them for 15 long minutes.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Chain Rule

Dad returned home today from his Georgia trip, just in time to help Pete with his math homework (derivatives of trigonometric functions using the product rule and chain rule). Pete also got his new retainer, to serve as a backup since the other one is cracked.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

No Complaints

Dad was away again today at The Masters, so it was Papa John’s night. No complaints from Sam.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Court of Honor

Dad left today for his trip to The Masters in Georgia. Sam had his Boy Scout meeting. Above is a picture of Sam and William participating in a recent Court of Honor ceremony.

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Melting Snow and Basketballs

March 1st was the date that the last of the snow melted from the great blizzard. Pete and Sam’s house was officially the last house on the street to have snow left. Also note the two basketballs in the picture. This was a slow day – sometimes there are up to five basketballs in the yard at any given point during springtime.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Choir Assessment

Pete was pouring his Cocoa Pebbles into the bowl and asked Dad if he smelled anything odd in his bedroom. Dad said no. Pete said he saw a little bit of smoke up there. Dad said “What?” Pete said “April Fools!” Here is where you can see that Sam has a darker sense of humor. Earlier in the morning, he had told Dad his idea of punching Mom in the kidney and saying “April stools!” Dad did fool Sam also, by asking him whether he wanted his sweatshirt if it is 26 degrees outside.

In the evening, Mom and Dad went to Riverside High School to see Pete’s choir get their assessment. They did two songs – Dawn and Wana Baraka. In the second song, Pete started it out with a very impressive solo (with some minor vocal accompaniment from Joel and Tiger). Apparently he didn’t find out until a few minutes before the performance that he would be doing that. The group scored a 2 (excellent) for their singing and 1 (superior) for sight reading.