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Drew and Will's pack disbanded and they joined a new one that's a bit larger as can be seen by the increased number of cars (34) in this year's Pinewood Derby race.
First up, Will in lane number 3.
Will won 4 of 6 heats with the green car coming in first or second with him each time.
Will had the fastest average time over all 6 heats for the Bears. He beat the green car, number 27, by just 2/100ths of a second.
Next up was Drew in lane number 3. This is Drew's last year participating in the Pinewood Derby so he's hoping to end on a high note.
Drew won every one of his heats against the other Webelos. The gold and silver cars were always behind him, in that order.
Drew had the fastest average time for the evening by a pretty comfortable margin. The gold car, number 26, took second overall. But, the real story was third place. Look back at Will's time: 3.7984. Now, look at the time for the third place car above, number 2: 3.7994. Will beat him out by just 1/1000th (one/one-thousandth) of a second! (There were a lot of other heats, but all the fastest cars were in Drew and Will's groups.)
Drew and Will with their 1st and 3rd place trophies. The boys really dialed in their designs this year. They decided what shape to make their cars, where to put the wheels, where to put the weights and, of course, the paint and decorations, as well as doing all the sanding and most of the painting. Most importantly, they moved the weights forward more evenly over the rear axle than behind it to avoid the problems they had last year.
Drew's red car and Will's silver and blue number 8 car (he chose it since he's 8 years old). Drew didn't want to put any decals, decorations, numbers, or anything on his car...just plain red. I guess it worked!
Drew and Will's Scout Pack had their Pinewood Derby race tonight.
The boys have been tweaking their designs, moving the weight back, improving aerodynamics, all in an effort to squeeze out a little more speed. The design tweaks worked well, at least initially, as can be seen here, Drew (lane 2) and Will (lane 5), were the fastest down the ramp.
But, in the straightaways, the new tweaks revealed a slight design flaw.
Drew and Will's cars simply couldn't stay in their lanes.
The problem was made worse by the Hot Wheels like plastic track with easy-hopping side rails unlike the old-school wood track with the center hump we had the last two years.
The problem was so bad that, by the end of the track, the boys' cars were literally flying off the track.
When their cars were able to stay in their lanes, they were FAST! Drew's car had the fastest single run of the night. And, while there wasn't an award given out, we're pretty certain Will's car had the second fastest run.
Will's car won 2nd Place among the Wolves and also Most Stylish.
Drew's car won Fastest Time, 2nd Place among the Webelos and, amazingly because it also happened last year, he was awarded Fastest Looking car before the race took place.
Two proud Scouts with their Pinewood Derby cars. The boys didn't have the race they hoped for this year, but they learned a lot and we were really proud of how well they handled defeat and congratulated the winners.
We all went to see Discover the Dinosaurs this afternoon at the Tulsa Expo Square Exchange Center.
The boys in front of a roaring and animated triceratops.
The boys even got to feed one of the dinosaurs.
Looking at a spinosaurus (left)and utahraptor (right).
A scary tyrannosaurus rex.
Drew getting his head bitten off by a dinosaur.
Will about to be devoured by a dinosaur. Landon understandably wanted no part of getting eaten by a dinosaur. The main exhibit was really neat and Drew enjoyed reading all the information about the dinosaurs. We wound up passing on the "extras." Definitely a great experience, but not something we're likely to ever go see again.
This afternoon we all took in the Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure staring Sofia the First and Jake and the Never Land Pirates.
Sofia and her family prepare for a royal celebration.
The finish of a grand dance.
Sofia the First joins hands with Cinderella.
Sofia the First rises high on the stage as she learns the true meaning of being a princess.
Peter Pan flies high to rescue Jake locked in the crow's nest.
Captain Hook trapped by a hungry crocodile.
Jake, Izzy and Cubby rescue Captain Hook as Jake discovers what it takes to be a true hero.
Mickey and Minnie were the emcees of the show.
Click on the above image for a large panorama of all the cast and characters. All the boys enjoyed the show especially the pirates!
Will, Drew and I attended the Fall Festival of Scouting at the Graves Scout Reservation in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Will and Drew's pack is part of the Indian Nations Council (flag on the right).
Drew and Will in front of Russell Lake.
Will had no trouble walking around on tin can stilts.
Drew was able to take a few steps on full size stilts with just a little assistance.
A little too much baseball wind-up in the boys' dart toss technique.
Will went under on the obstacle course.
While, Drew went over on the obstacle course.
Drew and Will on the slack line.
Drew and Will high up on the rock climbing wall.
Tulsa Life Flight's helicopter made a landing at the festival.
Coming in for a landing.
Posing with the Life Flight helicopter.
One of the boys' favorite activities of the day was canoeing.
Will and Drew paid close attention to the instructor before they got the opportunity to fire BB rifles.
Will and Drew did a great job their first time out BB shooting. Drew even got a bullseye!
The Royal Gauntlet Birds of Prey showed off some of their handsome falcons.
Another falcon looking proud.
Archery was another favorite activity. It was a lot harder than they boys imagined but, with a little practice, they were both able to hit the target.
Another obstacle course with a balance beam portion.
Finally, we closed the day with a big hit...stomp rockets.
Will launching his stomp rocket.
Drew grimacing as he launches his stomp rocket. The boys really enjoyed the perfect weather and all the activities. As we hiked out at the end, they were already talking about next year.
We all went to see Blue Man Group this evening at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. The boys really enjoyed the show as did Mama and Daddy.
I didn't take photographs during the show, so these three images are from around the interweb.
The show was more comedy and less percussion than I thought it would be, but incredibly entertaining-ish* nonetheless. [*-ish is an inside joke from the show...which cracked the boys up and we kept using days after.]
The Blue Men posed for photographs after the show.
Another Blue Man. They would sign programs and other materials by wiping two fingers across their blue heads and wiping blue on the item to be signed.
Blue Men never blink, perfect for photos, and also never smile or talk.
The Blue Man Group's supporting percussionists.
I had a great Father's Day with my family today. And, this evening, we all went to see the Lion King musical at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.
Despite the usual potty reminders before leaving home, Landon had to go right before the show started. He's normally got a bladder of steel so when he says he's got to go...he's got to go. I took him to the restroom while all the ushers were saying there's a "hold" and that we couldn't go. Yeah right, there's no "hold" on a four year-old's bladder! We just ignored the "hold" and made a beeline for the nearest restroom.
On the way back, Landon and I got held up at the door but were treated to seeing some of the performers up close (arm's length away) as they made last second costume adjustments and sung on their wireless microphones the opening number before proceeding down the isle. We followed behind them and made it to our seats having enjoyed our unique view of the show.
Drew and Will both said they really enjoyed the show. Landon made it through the first half and half way through the second half before falling asleep but he also like it. It was another great Father's Day thanks to my loving family. (The photos aren't mine...just some internet finds which looked right.)
Today, we all attended the Tulsa Auto Show at the Tulsa Expo Center/QuikTrip Center. With three young boys who will be growing up to be tall young men, we are going to need a vehicle with a real third row seat. This is the third row seat of a Chevy Tahoe which is the same as a GMC Yukon (or Cadillac Escalade). Look at Drew's legs, and he's just in third grade. Worse, look at Drew's expression, he's not happy imagining being stuck in the third row. The seat literally just sits on the floor. It's a complete joke. It's shouldn't even be allowed to be called a seat.
The newer Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave (generally the same vehicle) are all smaller than the Tahoe/Yukon but have better third row seats. Unfortunately, none of the three vehicles do much for us.
This is the third row seat of the Nissan Armada. It actually qualifies as a seat. In fact, the Nissan Armada Platinum is currently in the lead for our next vehicle. Although, we have no current plans on making a purchase, we just like to be prepared. The interior is appealing and the third row is easily accessible by the second row's flip-folding seats or by the easy removal of the second row center console.
The best third row seat in a non-extended version vehicle is in the Ford Expedition. If the picture wasn't a clear enough indication of the roominess and legroom of the Expedition's third row seat, just check out the expression on those three boys.
Unfortunately, the Ford Expedition's dash is straight out of the nineties. It is hideous. It evidences a complete disregard of soccer mom's in favor of beefy truck drivers. There's not a vehicle on the road more in need of a modern facelift. Hopefully a complete refresh will come before we need to purchase a new vehicle. We'd love to support the one American car manufacturer that didn't take a government bailout.
After looking at all the cars, the boys checked out some Cars movie characters. Landon loved Mater but wouldn't get any close than this to Mater's mouth.
Will, Landon and Drew with Sheriff.
The boys in front of an Audi racing car not unlike some of the Audis in Real Racing 3 which the boys are currently playing.
Finally, no trip to the Expo would be complete without a picture with the Tulsa Driller.
This evening Mary and I attended the 2013 OADC winter meeting. OADC stands for the Oklahoma Association of Defense Counsel. The meeting was held at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City.
My firm was kind enough to rent a limousine for the evening. We had a Cadilac Escalade stretch limo. It has seating for 15 but even the owners admit that it's more like seating for 15 high schoolers or 11 adults. Due to two couples cancelling at the last minute, we filled it with just 7.
The inside of the limousine.
Me and my beautiful better half ready for a night out on the town...or, a night out on the other
I didn't manage to snap a picture of the hotel. Imagine that, something I didn't take a photo of! But, this is the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. The Skirvin fist opened in 1911 with just 10 stories and two wings. Stories and another wing were added until it achieved its final size of 14 floors and 3 wings in 1930 giving it 525 rooms. It was closed down in 1988 and sat abandoned for 19 years including all the time I lived and worked in Oklahoma City, although there were always grand plans to reopen it. Finally, in 2007, it was fully renovated and reopened as a Hilton hotel.
The place setting that greeted us.
The first course of our meal was a wonderful crab cake. I didn't eat it, of course, since I'm allergic to shellfish. Keep reading and click on "continue reading" below to see my appetizer to which Mary was "mortified."
The salad was elegant and delicious.
The main course was fish and beef. I opted for a fishless plate which the servers had no problem providing. I must say, the beef was absolutely wonderful!
The dessert was very tart sherbert which would have been unpleasant by itself but which was served with a very sweet thick cream. The two together were quite yummy. There was also a cookie and a little mint ice cream which were a nice accompaniment.
We all wound up having a great time and got home tired and exhausted but grateful for the ride and fine evening with friends and co-workers.
We stopped halfway along our little journey in Stroud to use the restrooms and, for me at least, to pick up a snack since I had worked through lunch today in order to finish everything I needed to get done. I picked up some McDonald's Chicken McNuggets which were also a hit in the limo. As it turned out, I had one box of nuggets left over. I brought them along just in case I needed them...and I did. While everyone else ate crab cake, I used the fine silverware and proudly ate my McNuggets with barbecue sauce as elegantly as anyone has ever eaten McNuggets. Everyone at the table got a kick out it, while Mary was properly embarrassed by her uncouth husband.
Drew and Will's school had a Glow Run tonight. Here are the they are at the start all lit up to run around the gym and play games in the dark.
This is Will streaking away from the camera. You can tell it is Will because he had his lights grouped by color; red on his right shoulder, yellow on his left shoulder, green on his chest and blue at his waist. Drew's colors were all mixed up. You can just make out Landon at the top middle wearing his miner's style head band with its two red lights.
Drew and Will running an X pattern across the gym.
Drew dancing again. You can just make out part of his faint image on the right when he was still for a second.
Drew and Will running away from the camera in an X pattern.
Finally, all three boys. Drew with mixed up lights on the left. Will with his grouped lights on the right. And, Landon, with his miner's headband lights ghostly running in the middle. Be sure to click on "Continue reading" to see more photos.
A very well decorated glower who reminds me of Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2.
The green streak is a kid with one glow light. But, it's the red lights that are a mystery to us. The lights belong to a kid with no glow lights except for his shoes that light up when he steps on them. His movement makes him invisible. He shows up in a bunch of the pictures I took and the boys can't figure out who he is because he's never standing still with his shoes lit up.
The boys running across each others' paths again.
One of the boys, probably Drew, and Landon with his two red forehead lights crossing Drew's path.
Will making a lap around a group of kids sitting down in the middle of the gym.
Will running around a corner and then sitting down.
Drew running in the background while another child streaks by in front and a third does some sort of a loop-de-doo.
Drew running by and Will and Landon sitting in the middle.
Just some glowers dancing away.
One of the boys next to a glower running past the camera.
A close-up of one of the boy's lights.
Another shot of one of the boys running.
A bunch of glowers dancing around but up in the top left the two boys have somehow managed to make themselves look like three.
I like this one either running then dancing or visa-versa.
Finally, a group shot of all the Glow Run participants. The boys had a great time and look forward to this being an annual event.
Mary and the boys along with one of Mary's friends and her boy went to see the Imagination Movers and their Rock-O-Matic tour at the Mabee Center today.
The Imagination Movers are four friends from New Orleans who write and perform their own children's music with the motto: "Reach high, think big, work hard, have fun!"
There was plenty of dancing in the isles which got Landon rockin'.
The Movers frequently came into the audience. Will, shown here getting the microphone, got to sing along with Dave.
The show is full of high energy, inspiration and positive messages which all of the boys really enjoyed.
Will and Drew enjoying some popcorn during a break in the show.
Today we all, along with Ma and Pa, attended our third and what is likely our last Day Out with Thomas at the Oklahoma Railway Museum.
Our three handsome train engineers.
First stop, the tattoo station. But, Drew was the only one who wanted a Thomas tattoo.
Next up, the highlight of the day...a train ride being pulled and pushed by Thomas the Tank Engine.
Train engineer Landon is excited to take his ride.
Train engineer Will is all smiles, as always.
Train engineer Drew can't help but grin.
Landon is taking in the sights as we get underway.
Landon doesn't want his brothers to miss what he sees out the window.
Will and Drew are old pros at riding with Thomas.
There's the cheeky one who pushed and pulled us along the track today.
The boys and their favorite tank engine Thomas.
Ma and Pa give a wave as we waited in line to get the boys' photo taken with Thomas.
Landon found a Thomas that was just his size.
Next, it was time to have some serious fun with tables full of battery powered trains.
Landon is helping Percy the Small Engine haul some coal.
The boys got to take a break and sit down a while and enjoy some coloring.
Last up were the model trains.
The boys were fascinated by the life-like miniatures as the model railroad engineer kept several different trains weaving and circling around the track without piling up. Thanks to Ma and Pa for helping to make the boys' day with Thomas extra special.
Tonight was the PTA movie night fundraiser. The boys and I got to watch Finding Nemo in the school gym while eating popcorn and candy while Mama worked the concessions in the cafeteria. Afterward, the boys got their picture taken under the sea with Nemo, Dory and Squirt.
Last night all of us enjoyed a Tulsa Drillers baseball game. Even in the cheap seats, we had a great time feasting on ballpark food and America's pastime. Because they have now played organized baseball (at least the older two), they paid a lot closer attention, followed the game better and got a lot more out of it than they ever have before.
After the game, we were treated to a fireworks show.
Amazingly, I narrowed my pictures down to just four...pretty good for me.
I like the color of this one and the one before with the people silhouetted against the purple.
The Drillers really put on a nice fireworks display!
After the game, Mama and Landon whet home while Drew, Will and I set up camp in center field just under the huge video board for a showing of Kung Fu Panda 2. Unfortunately, there were no tents allowed on the manicured grass (not even stakeless self-supporting ones like ours), so we went without and just set up our air-mattress.
This is the boys at 6:13 a.m., shortly after we awoke this morning. Will was able to get some sleep but Drew set a new personal record for staying up late. To say there was little sleeping going on would be an understatement. Every time I managed to doze off, I was awakened shortly thereafter by the roving bands of scouts whose parental supervisors didn't enforce the official 3:00 a.m. quite hours. The 5:12 a.m. awakening by screaming banshees a foot from my head was the rudest. I grabbed my iphone to see the time and probably would have grabbed one of them if they hadn't run off.
Despite the lack of sleep, it was a fun adventure with the boys and none of us would have missed it for the world...we're just not sure if we need to repeat it next year, especially if it's 105° that day. Thanks to the Tulsa Drillers for letting us on your field and special thanks to the their groundskeeper who cannot possibly be a fan of such events.
Our weekend wasn't busy enough with two baseball games today (and three tomorrow), so we went the circus tonight. Not just any circus, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus featuring Dragons! Or, as Will says, "We went to see The Greatest Show on Earth!"
The Tchalabaev Cossack Troupe performing their five-man pyramid in their Riders of the Wind show.
Each side of the circus had a high wire pulled taught above and just in front of the first row for the Scorching Skywheels of the West. A motorcycle went back and forth with performers dangling underneath. For the finale, the motorcycle and acrobats spun around the wire!
One of my favorites are the big cats! The lion tamer, Alexander Lacey, had full command of his lions and tigers.
A tiger taking his turn jumping from stand to stand.
A tiger on his hind feet standing tall.
Needless to say taking photos from the stands combined with the varied circus lightening and a wire cage generally does not make for good photography but this photo of a tiger standing on his hind legs came out pretty good, if I do say so myself.
That is a craze cooperative lion to allow two tigers to stand themselves up on his back.
Back view of some well trained lions and tigers.
And, the front view of the lions and tigers standing at attention.
The Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey lion king. I've got to believe this guy is pretty old, he never moved very fast during the whole performance.
Not only is this cage studded with knives but they set it on fire and, although you can't tell from the photo, set it spinning, before putting a hood on the unlucky guy who had to jump through it.
These are the Shaolin Warriors and Kung Fu Kings. The program doesn't make much of a distinction between the two but the Ringling Bros. website does.
The Dragon briefly poked his head out between performances.
These are The Soaring Scalas performing their unassisted four-man tower after being launched from a teeter totter, (In another ring, farther away from us, The Mighty Asadullins performed a similar acrobatic teeter totter act.)
The final Soaring Scalas acrobat, just launched off the teeter totter, doing a somersault before landing on top to complete a five-man tower.
This little person was the highlight of the show. Paulo Dos Santo did a magnificent job all night long keeping the crowd entertained with his surprising acrobatics, endless energy and great humor. He stole the show from the Ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson (back visible in very first photo).
Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus elephants standing on each other.
This isn't that amazing of a picture, but the elephants were rotating in a circle which was pretty amazing.
Ringling Bros. elephants sitting on their backsides.
Ringling Bros. elephants making their own "little" pyramid.
These are the Dragon Riders (the Torres family) in a 16-foot globe of steel. They worked their way up until there were an amazing 8 motorcycles in the globe!!! In the picture you can just make out, from top to bottom 1, 4 and 3 riders. I also took a video which is a thousand times better than this static photo.
In the big finale, the Dragon finally made his appearance and flew around the thee ringed circus.
The Dragon spit fire and smoke as it finished out an incredible show.
The boys outside the BOK Center in front of a Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus truck.
Today the five of us went to see the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, also known as the Greatest Show on Earth! There are several Ringling Bros. shows that tour the country at the same time and we got to see Zing Zang Zoom (the Red tour). (Close up family photo after the jump.)
There were plenty of well-trained elephants.
The tigers performed with amazing precision and cooperation.
The show featured two human cannonballs simultaneously shot from a double barrel cannon who flew about 65 feet across the arena landing on two parallel airbags. (Vimeo version after the jump.)
Even after a few Google searches I'm not sure if there is a special name for the acrobats that perform high in the air while holding on to, or wound up in, the long silk scarves.
The high wire act walked, danced, jumped rope and rode across the tight wire better than I can walk down the street. I can remember that I used to think that using a safety line took away from the show. Now that I'm older, it actually allows me to enjoy the performance more since I don't have to worry--as much--about the performer's safety.
Finally, a close up of one of the performing elephants. There were tons of other acts, illusions, clowns, performers and music. We all had a really great time. (Just try not to think about the $12 cotton candy.)
Up next was a photo with Sir Topham Hatt.
The highlight of the day was, of course, the train ride while being pushed and then pulled by Thomas. Landon is craning his neck to check out the view during the ride.
Will looking out the window while riding Thomas.
Drew staring out the window during the train ride.
While his brothers were taking advantage of the day's various activities, Landon spent most of the time in the loving arms of his Ma and Pa.
Drew and Will with their favorite train engine Thomas.
Drew and Will sitting on a train wheelset.
Will taking a break to do some coloring.
Drew doing a little coloring too.
We closed the day with a terrific performance by Marty the Magician. He had the boys and the rest of the audience cracking up.
Drew loved the performance and even got to go up on stage and assist Marty for one of his illusions. I've got a great video of Drew on stage helping out but no time now to put it up, maybe later.
Marty the Magician posing with the boys after autographing a poster used in the illusion Drew helped with. Marty was a great close to a great day. Thanks to Ma and Pa for helping make another Day Out With Thomas extra special.
Drew's Aunt Donelda was in town visiting this weekend and so was the Akdar Shrine Circus. So, off we went to the Tulsa Fairgrounds.
The day provided a number of firsts...it was Drew's first circus, Drew's first taste of cotton candy and Drew and Daddy's first elephant ride.
The circus was nothing less than amazing. There was everything you'd expect from a three ring circus from clowns, acrobats and jugglers to animal trainers and death defying performers high up in the big top (or in this case Tulsa Fairgrounds Pavilion). The acts also included many lions, tigers, bears, camels, horses, ponies and dogs.
There were so many acts, sometimes in all three rings at once, that I couldn't begin to name them all. Incredibly, only one act, the trapeze, used a net despite many performers being high above the cement floor when they entertained the crowd.
With intermission, the performance lasted three hours and gave us all plenty to talk about afterwards.