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Feb 27 2013

Pinewood Derby 2013


This year's entrants in the Cub Scout Pack 983 Pinewood Derby. While we already have a small pack, the field was further narrowed by three of the older boys not being present (one Drew's age and two a year older). To see the making of Drew and Will's Pinewood Derby cars for this year, click here.


First up was Will, on the left, with his dragon car on the right.


Drew and his car both on the left.


Will, tongue in cheek, very carefully lining up his car.


Drew lining up his car with great precision.


Will pushing the button to start the race.


Drew taking his turn starting the race.


Will at the finish to see his car cross the line first.


Drew watching over his car as it takes an easy victory.


Drew and Will really enjoyed it when they got to race against each other


In this race, Will with an electronically measured time of 3.359 seconds beat out Drew with a time of 3.376 seconds by just 17 thousandths of a second.


Drew crossing the finish line just ahead of Will.


Will won Most Animaltastic for his car design as well as 1st place in his den and 2nd place over all for the whole pack.


Drew won Most Modern for his car design as well as 1st place in his den and he repeated his performance last year with another 1st place for the whole pack.

Mary saw the final race results printout and said that Drew's winning time beat out Will's by only 4 thousandths of a second. The difference between the two was just 1/4 of that shown three pictures above when they crossed the finish line 17 thousandths of a second apart! That's pretty much a tie in my book.


Our two awesome Pinewood Derby champions!

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It's that time of year again. Drew, Will and I have been working on their Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby cars. After discussing aerodynamics, weight distribution, handling, race rules and coolness, the boys designed their respective cars. First up for no-nonsense Drew is taking some unnecessary drag off the top.


Next, Drew wanted a more pointy front end compared to last year.


The ever creative Will came up with the idea for a dragon car. In addition to an aerodynamic slope, Will had me carve out a dragon head front-end.


It's a pretty cool design Will came up with if I do say so myself.


The dragon's head, both sleek and unique.


Drew's car wasn't tall enough to drill out a cavity to put in weights like last year, so we simply cut off a section the size of the weights, clued them in and puttied around them.


Will's car was perfect for drilling out a hole to put in the necessary weights in order to bring it up to the maximum allowed 5 ounces.


The final results, Will's dragon car and Drew's form-follows-function aerodynamic car with what we've come to call Volvo accents on the rear end. We call them that because they kind of make it look like the back end of our Volvo S80. It's also look we carried over from last year.


The front ends of two terrific Pinewood Derby cars.


The rear ends of the boys' Pinewood Derby cars with Will's awesome dragon tail and Drew's taillights.


The finished Pinewood Derby cars with their polished axles and wheels fully assembled. The cars are covered in lubricating graphite dust that gets everywhere after well-coating the axles and where the wheels rub against the cars. Tomorrow night, the big event!

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Feb 20 2013

Tulsa Snow Storm 2013


While most of the Midwest was blanketed in snow as deep as 17 inches in some locations, with Northern Oklahoma getting as much as 10 to 13 inches, Tulsa only received about 3.2 inches of snow. This was the view from my office towards the end of the storm.


The weather didn't warrant a snow day for the boys, so when the two oldest came home from school, Mama dressed them all up warm and off they went to little boy the pristine backyard.


There's nothing better than a good old fashioned snowball fight.


Landon is about to teach Drew a lesson about turning your back on the enemy.


At some point, the boys decided they needed to work on their defensive positions and each went to work on a fort to protect themselves. Drew has his all ready to go.


Will built a perfect fort to protect himself from his brothers' attacks.


Even Landon built himself a fort. It's as good as any 3 year-old has ever built and it looks like it has the added benefit of easily breaking down into a store of ammunition.


Finally, the boys called a truce and cooperated to build themselves a fine little Oklahoma snowman. Well done boys!

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Tonight, we all attended Boy Scout Night at the University of Tulsa's Donald W. Reynolds Center to see the Tulsa Hurricane men's basketball team play the University of Houston Cougars.


Mama and her boys enjoying a terrific basketball game.


The Hurricane won the game in a thrilling triple overtime victory.


Besides a great game, the boys all received a patch commemorating the evening.

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First, a little history. It's October, 1982, I'm a junior in high school. My favorite group, The Who, is playing just 15 miles down the road at the Rosemont Horizon, now the Allstate Arena. It is The Who's "farewell" tour, as in they were breaking up, never to tour again. Amazingly, in an occurrence more rare than any alignment of planets, I have tickets, a girlfriend and a ride. My dad was traveling at the time, so I asked my mom if I could go. The answer was, "No." It was a school night. My disappointment and downright anger took far longer to subside than I care to admit.

I swore at the time that if The Who ever toured again, I'd go see them no matter what. I thought it was an empty promise since they were breaking up. However, when The Who's The Kids Are Alright reunion tour came along, nothing could stop me from going to see them at Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, in July 1989. Flash forward to the present, nearly a quarter century later, and The Who are here in Tulsa on their Quadrophenia and More tour. Once again, I got tickets, a girlfriend and a ride. School night be dammed, Mary and I went to see The Who tonight!


Roger Daltrey has had problems with his voice including surgery as recently as December, 2010. However, there were no signs of any trouble tonight as he sounded as good and powerful as he ever has. Notice he started out, shirt buttoned, wearing a jacket.


Pete Townshend wore a simple, plain, white t-shirt. Neither performer exhibited the athletic moves of their youths, but you would never guess within a decade or two that Townshend is 67 and Daltry is 68. (I was amazed when I looked up their ages.)


Pete Townshend's brother, Simon Townshend, played guitar and contributed to the vocals.


Zak Starkey played drums as he has played consistently for The Who since 1996. He is also the son of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.


The Who's original member and bass guitarist, John Entwistle, died in 2002. The Who seamlessly incorporated some terrific base strumming of Entwistle into the concert.


The other original member of The Who was the legendary drummer, Keith Moon, who died in 1978. The Who wonderfully incorporated some of his drumming and vocals into the show.


Daltrey has lost the coat.


It was a unique backdrop on the screens for Love, Reign o'er Me.


There were no lasers or pyrotechnics. Nothing to distract from the performance. The screens and lighting provided a great deal of variety that nicely complemented the music without ever taking over the show.


Roger Daltrey.


Pete Townshend.


Pete Townshend and the Union Jack.


Roger Daltrey and the classic cover to the 1979 rockumentary The Kids Are Alright and soundtrack of the same name.


Daltrey on vocals of the all time classic Baba O'Riley (teenage wasteland).


Initially 30 minutes long, The Who played the more well known "high points" edited version of Townshend's classic Baba O'Riley which appeared on the 1971 Who's Next album.


Townshend in mid-execution of his classic full arm circle swing playing style for the finale of Baba O'Riley.


Daltrey finishing up the show on a slow note.


It was an amazing concert.


Townshend and Daltery, two remarkable rock-and-roll legends.


During the show a guy in front of me held up his lighter...for The Who...still my favorite band. And, most importantly, thanks Mary for making this Valentine's Day extra special.



I was so excited about the concert (and up so late doing the post), I forgot all about the opening act; Vintage Trouble. They were pretty good which, for me, is saying a lot since I don't generally like anything I didn't originally hear in the 70s. I would best describe them as a mix of rock, jazz, blues and soul.


The best part...this was me at work the next day!

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All on his own, without any prompting from school or anyone, Drew made Valentine's Day cards for all of us. At home, on folded sheets of torn-out notebook paper Drew wrote the following:


Your always a great buddy
to play with and be funny
I'll always love you
because your my buddy

Happy Valentines day!
Love Drew


Roses are read
Violets are blue
your a great friend,
I love you

Happy Valentines day
from Drew


Roses are red
violets are blue
shugar tasts great
and so are you

happy valentines day!
I love you
From Drew


Your always fun
when I'm feeling glum
you make me happy
I love you daddy

Happy Valentines day!
From Drew

Mama cried. (My only edits were line-breaks.)

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Tonight we went to see the world famous Harlem Globetrotters. This is the Globetrotters' mascot Globie with Drew, Landon and Will.


Before the game the boys got to go on the court and participate in various activities with some of the players. This is Landon spinning a ball on his fingers with just a little help from the Globetrotters' Spider Wilks.


Spider Wilks helping Will spin a basketball on his finger.


Finally, Drew spinning a basketball on his finger with Spider Wilks' help. Keep in mind, Spider is 6'7" tall.


The Harlem Globetrotters include Tiny (Paul) Sturgess who is recognized by Guinness World Records as the World's Tallest Professional Basketball Player at 7'7.26".


I had always wanted to see the Harlem Globetrotters with Meadowlark Lemon and Curly Neal as a child but never got to. So, I splurged a little and got us all courtside seats for the game/performance.


The Harlem Globetrotters famous magic circle warmup.


There's not much of a point having a jump ball with Tiny Sturgess.


Spider Wilks hides behind a young boy sitting next to us.


Landon enjoying the show put on by the Globetrotters.


Hawk slam dunking one for the Harlem Globetrotters.


Well, this just doesn't seem fair. Globetrotters Jet Williams climbed on top of the backboard to block a shot.


Fulfilling Meadowlark Lemon's role of master of ceremonies, Special K Daley delighted the crowd with his showmanship.


Hammer Harrison double-slam dunks two basketballs.


Globie sat down next to me during the game, so I whipped out the cellphone and snapped a picture of us.


In true Globetrotter form, Special K was constantly giving the referees a hard time.


Women's basketballer T-Time Brawner (No. 6) and 5'2" Too Tall Hall (No. 7) run the Global Select players in circles. Brawner fulfilled Curly Neal's roll of giving a dribbling exhibition while sliding all over the court. The opposing team, long known as the Washington Generals was recently split into the "International Elite" and the "Global Select."


Special K going after someone with a bucket of water.


The fans got lucky...it was only a bucket of confetti this time.


The Harlem Globetrotters Firefly Fisher inbounding the ball next to us.


Firefly Fisher and Special K Daley, along with some Global Selects, performed an amazing replay, backwards and slow motion of a disputed play.


Firefly Fisher with a beach ball which, when combined with some terrific showmanship, made it look like they were playing basketball in slow motion.


Firefly Fisher with a 4-point jumpshot. This was the Harlem Globetrotters You Write the Rules World Tour. Fans online and the audience at the game voted on what rules to follow for each quarter among: two basketballs, double points, 4-point shot, 6 on 5 and penalty box. I only recall the first three being used but, perhaps, I missed one or they did one twice.


Globetrotters Jet Williams slamming one home.


The boys really enjoyed watching the Harlem Globetrotters.

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