Friday, September 30, 2016

Hat Day

Today was “Hat Day” for Sam at school. They have various spirit days on Fridays throughout the year. Usually Sam disregards them, since they are things like "Emoji Day" or "Dr Seuss Day" or "Dress Like Your Career Day". Dad tried to get him to wear his top hat, but he decided to go more conventional with an Eagles cap. Which worked out well since the Eagles are now 3-0 this season under their rookie quarterback, Carson Wentz.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ottoman Blanket

Pete seemed a bit tired this evening. He fell asleep with the huge ottoman on top of him like a blanket. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Breakfast for Dinner

Tonight was “Breakfast for Dinner” night. Everyone enjoyed some pancakes, eggs, toast, and bacon. And Sam helped Dad with the cooking too. After dinner, Tom came over to help Dad carry the new treadmill downstairs.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Pete has decided to apply to National Honor Society. This may sound glamorous, but at the moment it means that there are papers and envelopes strewn all across the kitchen table. Pete has decided to get 7 or 8 references, each of which has paperwork. Add to that his application, which is spread everywhere. Not a good situation with tonight being “Taco Night”. Dad will have to decide whether to have Pete move his papers on to the floor in the family room, or try to clean Mom’s piles of junk off of the dining room table.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Presidential Debate

Pete and Dad watched some of the Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They enjoyed a good laugh every time Trump said something ridiculous. At 11pm, they did the traditional evening activity which was Dad heading off to bed and Pete starting to work on all of his homework assignments that he hadn’t started yet (tonight was English and Psychology).

Sunday, September 25, 2016

College Fair

Mom and Dad went with Pete and Eve to the College Fair at Briar Woods. There were representatives there from about 200 colleges. Dad was worried that Pete would be overwhelmed, but he seemed pretty content with the experience. Pete took brochures from Penn State, James Madison, William & Mary, and University of Virginia.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Herndon Competition

Mom and Dad went to Pete’s band competition today at Herndon High School. They also watched about 6 other bands in Pete’s division. Dad took Sam to Hair Cuttery for a much-needed trim. After dinner, Mom and Pete went over to Village Fest. Dad had some customer activity scheduled for work, so was not able to join his friends at Penn State or go on the whitewater rafting campout with Sam’s Scout Troop. Sam also did his first New York Times Crossword puzzle today (“Monday” puzzle) - with a lot of help from Dad.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hyper Slide

Occasionally Dad will wander into the playroom (aka "Mom’s hidey hole") and pull out a few games from the archives. Pictured above are Mom and Pete playing a spirited game of Hyper Slide.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ethos and Pathos

Pete has been putting his English class to good use. Mom was crafting a letter to the Principal (Mr. Spage) to get permission for Pete to take 8 credits in the Spring (a request that was already denied by his Guidance Counselor, Ms. Harris). So Pete was helping Mom update her e-mail to include more ethos and pathos, so it would be more persuasive to Mr. Spage.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Watch Your Step

Sometimes Dad feels like he is living in a cartoon. Case in point, the other day he found this banana peel at the top of the stairs. If this were Mario Kart, it would be a catastrophe.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Too Fibrous

Sam has interesting descriptions for why he doesn't like to eat certain things. Above is a picture of a Pop Tart with one bite in it. This is typical of what might come home in Sam's lunch box. Here is a sample conversation:

Dad: "Sam, why didn't you like your ham sandwich today?"
Sam: "It was mushy"

Other adjectives Sam might use for why he didn't eat something: damp, fluffy, stiff, bland, fibrous, etc.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Carson Wentz Era

After band practice and Boy Scouts, Dad and Pete went to Tom’s house to watch the Eagles/Bears Monday Night game. Reagan let them play with Jackson’s hamster (Teddy) a bit. Everything in that place is named after a President. The Carson Wentz era is now in full swing, with the Eagles winning to go 2-0 to start his career. It is important to overlook the fact that they defeated two of the worst teams in the league this year. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Not Done Yet

Dad was able to mount Pete’s TV on the wall above his bed, so he finished getting that hooked up today. In case Dad thought he was done after the sagas of the TV, couch,  and wall mount, Pete casually announced today that next he needs a coffee table.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Tale of Two Competitions

Pete and the Broad Run Marching Spartans were away at a competition from 8:15am until 9:30pm at the Millbrook HS "Battle on the Blue Ridge". They did a great job (despite not having their uniforms yet) - 1st place win (out of 4 bands), as well as securing all captions in their Class. With a score of 78.98, the Marching Spartans also scored Best Overall Music, Best Overall Percussion, and were named Grand Champions of the competition.

Meanwhile, Dad and Sam went to Fredericksburg for a Melee tournament at UMW. Sam started off well, defeating Kenpachi 2-1 (Falco ditto) although being down to his last life. He lost to Joak, who was the top seed and ended up winning the tournament.  Sam lost his next match in the lower bracket. After the tournament, Sam and Dad walked around campus a bit – getting some pizza, pokestops, and defeating a gym before arriving home at 9:30pm.

Friday, September 16, 2016

In Da Club

Today was an URF day on League of Legends so Sam used his time before school to play a quick game. Dad dropped Sam at the bus since he was driving Pete into school early (for the third time this week). So far, Pete is doing Improv Club, History Club, and whatever he went in for this morning. Dad told him to be careful of Marcia Brady syndrome.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

La Villa Roma

Everyone piled into Nana and Poppy’s car to pick Pete up from band practice and go up to La Villa Roma for dinner. There was a Pokestop reachable from the table, which along with the 18 garlic knots made for an enjoyable dinner. Nana and Poppy shared stories about Sarah’s moving into the townhouse, Taylor’s job at Auntie Anne’s, Bart’s finger, Cathy’s chickens, Alan Michael, and so on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Dreaded Phase 2

This morning was Sam's orthodontist appointment. He asked Dr. D not to rip any teeth out this time. This is the appointment where Dad found out that Sam would, in fact, be needing "Phase 2" braces next year. Dr. D advised Dad to "put as much as you can into your Flexible Spending Account next year" (not the words you want to hear on any appointment).

Sam had his usual problem with his English homework this evening. He had the same issue last year. The assignment was to read in his book and find four words that he doesn't know. He reads and reads but can't find any words that he doesn't know. And he refuses to just pick some words and say that he didn't know them. So it's going to be another long year in English class.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Evening Walk

Pete and Dad walked over to the “Cheltenham Gym” around 10:45pm to defeat it. They put a Flareon and Scyther in there. The paths in Ashburn Village don't get much traffic at that time of day on a school night.

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Day Without Dad

Dad left at 7am for golf with Doug, so Pete and Sam had to get themselves out the door this morning for school. They did a good job. Also, Mom had to go to Pete’s “Back To School Night”, so the boys ordered pizza delivery for themselves.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Do Not Admit Fault

Dad told his “Raj” story at dinner this evening, which he had been saving up for 3 days. The punchline of the story was “My Uber is here”. Then Dad and Pete had to quickly run out because Giancarlo was home, which meant they could go pick up the new couch. They went to Giancarlo’s, then Home Depot, back to Giancarlo’s, then home to drop off the couch, and a final trip (Dad only) back to Home Depot. Pete was amused by the instructions in the glove compartment of the truck rental. Rule #2 of the “what to do in an accident” pamphlet was “Do not admit fault”. Also, there were witness cards included in the packet. Dad and Pete were able to get the sofa in the house, up the stairs, and into Pete’s room! Pete had “lowered his standards” to accept a smaller couch. Even so, it barely squeezed through his door (standing on its side) and it takes up most of the space on that wall.

Saturday, September 10, 2016


Sam decided to skip the W&OD Trail Cleanup again today for his Boy Scout Troop, so once again Dad went by himself. 

Mom went out with Pete’s band for TAG day. She didn’t get to ride around with Pete’s group this time though. 

Pete went in the evening to Eve’s birthday party.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Kayak Devotee

Whenever listening to the song “L.A. Devotee” by Panic at the Disco, everyone is reminded of Dad’s story when he was on the Potomac with Brian in the inflatable raft and had that song stuck in his head. This led him to paddle way too frenetically, but it did not help them get anywhere since the kayak was not very hydrodynamic and Dad was often paddling by himself in the 2-man kayak.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Stand Chaperones

Mom and Dad were the official “stand chaperones” at the football game tonight, so they got to see Pete play at halftime with the band. Sam decided to stay home. Pete’s secret buddy is not the best this year. Before each home game so far, he has gotten one bottle of Hawaiian Punch and a bag of Sour Patch Kids. Well, at least his buddy is consistent.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Good Luck Harambe

Dad went to Sam’s “Back To School” night at Farmwell. Mom was stuck doing the same at her school (Sterling Middle School), meeting with the one parent who came in to see her. The highlight of the evening was Dad signing the board where you leave messages for the kids. He signed it “Good luck Harambe. Love, Dad”. Pete somehow knew about this before Dad made it home. Apparently a student had already snapped a picture and posted it on Twitter. When Pete saw the post, he immediately suspected it was Dad who was responsible.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Entrance Names

Pete was pretty hungry this morning at his allergy shot, so he was pleased when the third song played was Bruno Mars; which means he gets donuts on the way to school. Dad was able to pay with his phone at Dunkin Donuts. He dropped Pete at the new entrance at 8:59, giving him just enough time to scurry off to Psych class without having to wait in the tardy line. Dad and Pete have code names for each of the entrances, such as “Dolores”, “We Park for 24”, “Rickety Bridge”, etc.

Monday, September 05, 2016

Garrett's Birthday Weekend

Today was Labor Day. Sam went to Top Golf in the morning for the continuation of Garrett’s birthday weekend, and then to the pool with Jacob immediately after that. Dad and Pete went to Claude Moore Park for a few hours.

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Communal Experience

Dad and Pete went over to the Cheltenham Pokemon gym and quickly defeated it on behalf of Team Valor (red). Pete placed a Charmander in the gym, and Dad a Cubone. Then an Asian lady and her daughter leveled up the gym prestige and put a few more Pokemon in there. Then another couple came and leveled it up further. It was an interesting communal experience. (However, the gym was defeated anyhow later in the day.)

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Notebook Quest

After lunch at Friendly’s, Pete and Dad walked over to Office Depot to look for his 200-page notebook. Pete stopped briefly to sit on the red ball in front of Target, which was temporarily painted like a pokeball. After securing the notebook, they went to Claude Moore for about an hour to get some Pokemon. 

Sam went out in the evening with Garrett, William, and Shakti for Garrett’s birthday. They went to an escape room in Herndon and then Jimmy Johns. They did not successfully escape, but Sam had a good time. They actually had a better time throwing water bottles around than they did in the Escape Room. This is the current craze, taking a partially filled water bottle and flipping it so that it lands standing up.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Iron Chair Adjustments

Sam decided that he didn’t want to sit in the iron chair anymore at the computer desk in the kitchen (pictured, left). Notice the scratched out area on the floor, which was created by this chair over the past few years. Mom and Dad tried several iterations of raising it, with power tools and shims and hardware store trips, but could not come up with anything that Sam was content with.  

So Sam’s new chair is the stool (pictured, right). Dad snapped this photo at a rare occasion when Sam is not seated at the desk. Also notice the Ethernet cable coming out of the drawer. This is what Pete pulls across the floor to the counter and plugs into when he is in a high-bandwidth situation (e.g. League of Legends).

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Hidden Pillow

Dad started a new bedtime game where he hides Sam’s blue poop emoji pillow while he is brushing his teeth. The first time it was hidden overhead and fell onto Sam’s pillow while he was looking for it. On the second night Sam spotted it behind Dad’s head while he was taking off his socks. Dad is starting to run out of ideas now that it has been about 20 nights.