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Aug 31, 2011

Mystery Photo…
last update: 08/31 @ 21:09
Robert’s new favorite magazine, Highlights, runs as a standard feature a “mystery photo” and asks readers to guess what it is. Here’s my first attempt… You can cheat by visiting Robert’s section. (You can see a larger version by clicking on the photo — it won’t take to Robert’s section this time.)

Aug 24, 2011

last update: 08/24 @ 08:34

I have to post something because this should be a once in a century event (maybe Robert will experience two large East Coast quakes, but not likely).

We had 5.9 quake just outside of Richmond yesterday; it was felt all the way up the coast (apparently we have hard rock that transmits shock waves well) into Canada. Robert was in the pool and reported larger than normal waves and one big crash — but didn’t really feel it. Sarah was at work, dismissed and picked up Robert from his day camp, which let out early. I was at work, heating up tea water and stood the doorway of the pantry for the 15-30 seconds that the building shook. We were not evacuated but did have the option to leave early — I had a 4pm meeting with my boss and stayed for that.

Sarah said some pictures were askew at home and one of Robert’s rockets fell off a shelf in his room. All in all, our 100 year old house seemed to have survived it’s biggest quake with no damage. The last quake that size in VA was 1897 (and Charleston had a much bigger quake a couple decades earlier).

Aug 21, 2011

Violette’s Lock
last update: 08/21 @ 21:20
We took advantage of nice weather (mostly between thunderstorms) to take the canoe back to Violette’s Lock on the Potomac. The chief attraction when it’s as hot as it’s been, is swimming at swimmers rapid. This time, Sarah took this video. It’s kind of big and our DSL is not, so you’ll need some patience…

Aug 07, 2011

Lego Brick Fair
last update: 08/07 @ 19:05
This was quite the gathering of Lego aficionados. It was actually a little scary how seriously some folk took this.

Then there was the the just for fun, like the “Grand Ball Contest.” A huge Rube Goldberg contraption for moving balls around several tables. In the background you see the tower, probably 15 feet tall — the balls were carried up by conveyor belt and dropped into a hopper.

From there they were shuffled onto the Ferris wheel and through a few more motorized constructions and a switch-back ramp just like Aaron has for marbles to the end of the line. A Lego train picked them up for the trip back down the tables, around the bend and up the tables on the other site to the starting line.

While the trains were interesting (and I certainly didn’t have any Lego trains in my Lego days), this was pretty cool: a Viking ship built on top of a train bed which was sunken so the “ship” could circle the island. I really liked the foam the ship was kicking up…

(Robert had a good time too.)

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