A Moment of Opportunity

I think I mentioned that on Thursday, I’m doing this 160-mile (give or take) bike ride, Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day (RAMROD). That’s why my family took off for the beach this week: Because on Wednesday I’ll be getting ready for this ride, and then on Thursday Dad and I will get up about 3:00 am (!) to drive down to Enumclaw to start riding at 5:30 am.

In preparation for this insanity, I’ve started getting up slightly earlier every morning. Yesterday it was 5:00 am; this morning, 4:30; tomorrow, 4:00 am (!!!!!! I try not to think about it too much). The theory is that I’ll be able to go to bed earlier each night, and that maybe it’ll make 3:00 am feel a little less like the middle of the night. A month ago, it actually wouldn’t have been so middle-of-the-night-ish, because the sun started rising about 4:00 am. But alas, we’re down from 16 to a measly 15 or so hours of daylight, and it’s definitely quite dark even at 4:30 am. Continue Reading >>

Strangely Quiet

My life is suddenly very, very quiet.

I tidied up the house, and it stayed that way. I made dinner, and nobody lost their minds over how they don’t like beets. I went for a bike ride to do some errands, and it didn’t matter how long my errands took. I baked cookies with Christy, and we had a complete conversation with no interruptions. Janice is coming to clean, and it’ll stay just as she leaves it for days.

…Because the other 2/3 of my family are in (unexpectedly sunny) Seaside!
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Superhero Camp

Benji has really taken a shine to these “Captain Awesome” books lately. They’re short chapter books for approximately second-grade readers, so while Benji usually understands all the words, he doesn’t always get the nuances. But he gets the gist, which is that this second grade boy has a secret superhero identity as Captain Awesome, and the Captain fights “evil” when he sees it (which is frequently). In one of the Captain Awesome books, the boy goes to superhero camp, and since we read that book, Benji has been wanting to do his own superhero camp. Continue Reading >>

If you give a mommy a data set

Too bad they don’t have this T-shirt in kid sizes, because today science just got real here.

If you give a kid a car, he’s gonna race it down the slide.

This morning we started sliding Matchbox cars down our outdoor slide. It didn’t take long for us to start racing them, and comparing which one went farthest.
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And if he slides cars down the slide, he’ll want to measure how far they go.

Naturally (at least, for us) it wasn’t long before we pulled out our 100′ tape measure and started actually measuring how far the cars went, compared to each other. Benji quickly learned how to read the tape measure, and it wasn’t long before he accurately reported the distances himself.
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Friday Photos

These are all from today, since we already shared our amazing planet extravaganza. Today we went to Matthews Beach Park for the first time, meeting our friends the McCurleys there.

Benji said: “Mommy, look, big ducks!”
Me: “Those are geese.”
Benji: “I’m going to go pet the geese!”
"Mommy, I'm going to pet the geese!"

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Later, after failing to pet geese but succeeding at getting super wet in the lake, then rinsing off and changing into entirely new clothes, we played at the playground. At first there were a zillion kids there — at least two separate day camps had staked out areas, one near the water and one by the play toys — but for a brief interval the two camps cleared out and left some room for other kids to play. Continue Reading >>

Wahoo Elemnt Review 

This post is more for me to coalesce my thoughts about this Garmin GPS alternative. I’ll start by saying that I’ve used a Garmin GPS since at least 2008, and 5 of those years I’ve used a Garmin 800 with few of the problems many of my riding buddies have struggled with. I’ve been able to accurately navigate; upload data to various sites (with only the annoying hiccup of Garmin Communicator vanishing, mandating manual uploads); and I’ve only very rarely had data issues. Perhaps a lukewarm review for a $500 device, but hey, at least I can say honestly, It performed as advertised – again, more than many Garmin users I know! Continue Reading >>

Did I mention planets?

First a silly story. Benji and Ian have been looking at Wikipedia entries for bodies in the Solar System. While doing this, they encountered the term trans-Neptunian objects, which Ian explained and Benji understood as “anything out past Neptune.”

Later, we learned that there’s a new dwarf planet out in the Kuiper Belt (currently euphoneously named 2015RR245), and Benji’s comment was classic: “OH! Daddy! This must be a trans-Neptunian object!” 

After that, most of our morning was devoted to planets. Continue Reading >>