Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Cheeseburgers and Fries

Jacob came over to hang out with Sam after school today, and decided to stay for dinner tonight (good choice since it was cheeseburgers and fries).

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

School Schedules

The second day of school was actually a good day for Pete to leave all of his folders at home on the kitchen table, since it turned he didn’t really need them anyhow. After school, Dad served as stand-by assistant as Pete worked through some of the Monday puzzles in the New York Times archive. His average time is down to about 20-25 minutes. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Day of School 2016-17

The first day of school went pretty well. Sam got up rather early (6:50am) and was ready to leave by 8:04 for the 8:08 pickup. Pete also got himself up with plenty of time to spare. Pete will need to take the bus for about 2-3 months, until he is officially allowed to drive by himself on November 16th.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Better Meatballs

Today was the last day before the first day of school. Mom made some meatballs that everyone agreed were a lot more palatable than the raisin balls they had a few weeks earlier from Blue Apron. William came over in the afternoon to join Sam and Pete in watching TSM defeat C9 in the finals of the NA LCS. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Closing Out Summer

Mom and Dad went to watch Pete’s “friends and family” band performance at the new football field on the last weekend before school would start up again. They swung by home to pick up Sam and went to Ledo for lunch. They got stuck on a level of Guess Up Emoji, but after a few hints Pete finally figured out that it was “Victoria’s Secret”. Later in the afternoon, Pete, Sam, and Dad (for a bit) watched the League of Legends LCS third place match between CLG and Team Immortals on Chromecast. Wild Turtle led Immortals on a comeback and they ended up winning in 5 games.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Football Season

Jackson came over today and then went with Sam to the first football game of the year. It’s going to be a long season for Broad Run, since their quarterback decided to play Lacrosse instead of football. They lost on the last play of the game when they could not push the ball in from the 1 yard line. 

At least Pete did a good job as part of the halftime performance.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pillow Investor

Tonight was a late dinner at Fuddruckers. After the meal, Dad gave Pete and Sam each $1 to play some video games. Sam came back almost immediately. He had tried to win a poop emoji pillow in the crane game. Dad agreed to give him one more dollar if it would make him at peace with the crane. To everyone’s amazement, Sam returned quickly again – but this time with a fantastic bright blue poop emoji pillow. Dad tried to claim the pillow as the investor, but Sam was apparently either not aware or not in agreement with that basic legal principle.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Trampoline Impalements

Sam had a busy day today. He went to locker setup at Farmwell, and then walked to Lindsey’s house, followed by Jackson’s house. Hung out at Jackson’s house for several hours, during which both Jackson and AlexE got impaled on the trampoline, in separate incidents. Alex went to the hospital and later returned to the trampoline (kudos for dedication). Sam later walked to 7-11 and back with Jacob. Sam’s meals for the day were a few tortilla chips, a popsicle, and a Slurpee. He also had a bowl of cereal at about 10pm.

For the record, Pete and Sam's trampoline at home is still free from major injury after all these years.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Five Trips

Dad is pretty busy the last week of summer, when Mom is back at work (school). For example, he drove to Broad Run five times today. Twice to drop off and pick up Pete from Band Camp, twice to drop off and pick up Sam from Jacob’s house (in development across the street from Broad Run), and once to pick up Pete’s parking permit. The good news is that hopefully the parking permit will save Dad a few trips over the course of the upcoming school year. Also, Dad drove twice to Falls Church, to drop Pete off and pick him up from work.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Congressional School

Mom dropped Pete off for work at the ritzy “Congressional School” campus in Falls Church, and headed off to work. Dad picked Pete up at 3pm and took him over to Band Camp. 

Dad then took Sam to Scotto’s and the Troop meeting. They got there early, so Sam had time to defeat the gym at the NRPA. There was even an extra space for Dad to place a Pokemon in the gym as well. Sam got a lot of sign-offs from William for being grubmaster at the last campout. He also collected some of the “grub fees” from the other Scouts.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Heading Home

On the final day of the campout, Sam and Dad woke up once again at 7am to get everything packed up for the ride home. The planning was good, since they made it back into the car just as the rain started coming down. After dropping Jude and William back at NRPA, it was time to relax for what little was left of the weekend.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ropes Course

Sam and Dad woke up early so Sam could cook the French toast sticks for his large Werewolf Patrol (which included two older Scouts this time). After cleaning up and heading over to the adventure park, Sam and Dad had a great time at the Sandy Spring ropes course. 

First they did one of the green courses, then upped the difficulty to the “Waterfall” blue course. They went with William, Alex, and EthanC. It was quite challenging, and Sam had one obstacle in particular (a ladder with a lot of space between log rungs) that took every bit of strength/luck/will for him to make it to the top. They finished with one of the yellow courses. Then Sam hurried back to prepare lunch (sandwiches) for a late 3pm lunch. The afternoon was relaxing, with a brief activity in which Sam earned his Firem’n Chit. Then Sam cooked cheeseburgers for dinner. All in all, it was an exhausting day but a good one.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Campout Arrival

Dad picked Sam up at his last day of Chess Camp and then they packed up for the Ropes Course Campout. Dad drove Sam, Jude, and William to the Sandy Spring adventure park. They arrived at the campsite after dark, so quickly set up their tent and kitchen, and got ready for bed.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer Sweatshirt

It has been one of the hottest summers on record. People can debate whether this is due to climate change (answer: it is!), but it has been pretty brutal regardless. However, this has not stopped Sam from wearing his new TSM (Team Solomid) sweatshirt on any occasion. For example, on a trip to the grocery store with Mom to purchase the food for this weekend’s campout (he is the grubmaster).

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

First Puzzle

Tonight at dinner, Pete tried his first New York Times crossword puzzle – which he quickly completed without any difficulty. Also, Dad introduced everyone to a game that they played at his recent crossword tournament. Everyone starts on a certain word, and then has to find a series of words after that which match certain categories, and come after the previous word in the dictionary. The winner is the person who ends up with a word as close as possible in alphabetical order to the original word. Once you figure out how to play, which took a while, it is a fun game. After that, Sam shared with Dad some of the boneheaded moves that people made earlier that day in Chess Camp.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

For Pete’s 16th birthday, everyone went to Nagoya for dinner and then had Costco cake at home. Pete opened his presents. First the “Happy Birthday Son” birthday card that Grandma had inexplicably given to Dad (blank) when he visited her in February. He found the hidden guy that Sam had drawn on the lighthouse. Then he opened his TV Wall Mount, portable charging block, ear buds, HDMI cables, and Chromecast (with floppy dongle). It seems that electronics are a big thing these days.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Thriving Community

Dad picked up Sam and William from Chess Camp and they walked over behind the Heritage Farm Museum to grab a few Pokestops. They were rather surprised to find the thriving community of about 40 people sitting in front of Frogshackle Cabin, hunting Pokemon. They stayed for about 10 minutes, catching a number of Pokemon which had been lured there. They made it back to the car just before the rain started.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pokemon Pun Game

Mom went to visit her friend Dawn in Annapolis. Dad went with Pete and Sam to Ledo for lunch/dinner. They played the Pokemon pun game. For example, the clue is “Emily dazzled the guys with her __________ wit” and the answer would be Charmander. Or “Betty was anxious for her __________ grow up to become a horse. (Answer to be provided by the reader)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Planning for Future Trip

Mom took Sam and Pete to Red Robin, since Dad was still at his Crossword tournament in New York City.

Dad decided that he would have to take Sam and Pete next time, so they could hang out for a few hours in the Southeast corner of Central Park.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Outdoor Activity Night

Mom went with Pete to the band outdoor activity night at Fincastle Field.

Dad headed off at noon to his crossword puzzle tournament. He texted Pete a screen shot of all the Pokestops near his hotel in New York City. But sadly his phone was not able to handle it and kept crashing.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Band Camp

Sam went with his friends today to see Suicide Squad at the mall, while Pete was enduring 105 degree index at band camp. 

White shirt and blue shorts

Tonight was the last night of the Blue Apron experiment. Mom and Dad worked together to prepare cod with purple potatoes. They took a few bites and then got pizza for everyone.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Pork Chops

Sam was not too thrilled with the pork chops for dinner. He took a few bites and then had some taquitos later in the evening. He has declared that most meat is too bland. This includes Dad's steak on the grill and pork. The only meat he seems to like is chicken with a lot of seasoning.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Family Reunion

Mom and Sam returned home this evening from Myrtle Beach. Before then, Pete and Dad shared their final meal which was Chicken Burgers (Blue Apron) prepared by Dad. They were not too bad, but they were thinking about making a Five Guys run later in the night for some real burgers. However, that would not happen as they worked right up until midnight to get Pete’s myriad module 12 assignments submitted for his Econ class – the final module of the class. 

Meanwhile, Mom arrived home and examined the K’nex template Dad had built to see whether the new sofa had any chance of fitting through Pete’s door. The verdict is that there is a chance it will fit, if the feet are removed and it somehow can make it up the stairs. 

Everyone rounded out the evening by watching the US win Olympic gold medals for Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, and the entire women’s gymnastics team. Sam showed off his new red Nike Free Runs that he got in Myrtle Beach and regaled everyone with stories of the Pokemon that he caught along the beach and boardwalk.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Family Schism Day 4

Dad picked up Pete after band camp and they continued the sofa adventure. They went to Home Depot to rent a truck, which Dad drove over to Gala Circle. They loaded up the couch and drove it to the house. Mr. Cary helped a little bit with getting the sofa into the foyer. Dad declared that it may be too big to get up the stairs or into Pete’s room. Pete declared that there is a 100% chance they will get it into his room. They decided to rest up and postpone any further efforts until Mom and Sam return from Myrtle Beach tomorrow night. They spent the rest of the night on the couch in the family room watching the Rio Summer Olympics and working on Modules 11 and 12 of Pete’s summer Econ class (until Pete remember that he wanted to play Roblox). 

Meanwhile, down South, Sam walked the boardwalk playing pokemon go while mom sat on the beach. It was extremely hot - mom gave Sam $10 and he bought himself a slice of pizza, coke, and ice cream. They had Nana’s ribs for dinner, and then played 3 games of Pickleball. Sam got in lots of time cuddling with Shadow on his final day of vacation.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Family Schism Day 3

Pete mowed the lawn, and then went with Dad to look at a sofa in a garage on Gala Circle, then to the music store to pick up some valve oil. After dinner, Pete went with Chandler to Top Golf (free Sunday night play for local restaurant employees). 

Sam and Mom went to the boardwalk for dinner, and ended up at Friendly's. After dinner, they went into the Gay Dolphin gift shop, rode the sky wheel (Poppy is afraid of heights), and of course some more pokemon go.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Family Schism Day 2

Dad arrived home from his overnight camping trip and found that Pete and the house were still there. 

Meanwhile, Mom and Sam went to dinner with Nana and Poppy in Myrtle Beach, after which Sam looked around for a few Pokemon. He played some more Wii in the morning while mom went to store with Nana. Later in the day he played Pickleball, pool, and ping pong at clubhouse. Dinner was at Olive Garden with Aunt Jo and Dave, after which they went to the outlets across the street where Sam played some more Pokemon Go. He got some new sneakers for school as well.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Family Schism Day 1

Sam and Mom headed off to Myrtle Beach today. Dad picked Pete up from work and then went to his IOLS Scoutmaster training class in Bluemont. Pete was by himself for the evening. He went with Jennifer to the mall and got some “asteroid fruit slices”. Sam arrived in Myrtle Beach and set up the Wii and small TV in his private room.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Meatball Incident

Tonight was the “meatball incident”, in which Mom spent about 90 minutes cooking meatballs in tomato paste and squash from Blue Apron. Pictured are the boys trying to pick the raisins out of the meatballs. Later in the evening, everyone had SecondMeal. This is the meal you cobble together later in the evening on Blue Apron nights. Dad has cereal and some leftover rice he found in the refrigerator. Sam had toast and a milkshake. Pete had a box of Whoppers at the movie theater.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Pete went to Heath’s house for game night so Sam had the Blue Apron catfish and zucchini with Mom and Dad. Sam took a small bite, comprising about 0.0004% of the available catfish.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

National Night Out

Pete and Dad drove up to Sterling to pick up Pete’s TV from Tammie (Craigslist). It just barely fit on the back seat of Dad’s car. It was pretty heavy, but they managed to lug it up to Pete’s room and get it on the floor. Then Pete, Dad, and Sam walked over to the Lakes Pool for the ice cream social and "National Night Out". They snagged some free ice cream bars and a few Pokemon along the way. Pete picked up some interesting flyers with useful information such as: “On Halloween, avoid the deadliest hours of 5pm – 9pm”. Also, there was a flyer about what to do if you see a gun, and another with safety tips for playing Pokemon Go. 

Today was also the first meal from Blue Apron. It was supposed to be chicken sandwiches, but the biscuits to be used as the buns were extremely small and flaky, so it was just “ordinary piece of chicken with side of biscuit plus collared greens”.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Scouting Will Occur Next Time

Dad dropped Pete off this morning at Spring Hill and then headed to the office in Reston until heading back at 12:15pm for pickup. Sam got a ride with William to the troop meeting, and Dad met up with them. The meeting ended with the following announcement from Lowell: “Guys, I know Pokemon Go is fun and all, but you guys are going to need to put your phones away and do some Scouting activities next time.”