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Annika Downhill Skis

Screen Tech Free Weekend

Happy Birthday Nana

Happy Birthday Annika

Annika Performs

Happy Birthday Me

David's Birthday and Pie

Annika's Cloud Birthday Party

Roundabout

Night at The Races

My Sister Sheryl

Rocket Team - First Launch

Mogadore Lake Hike

Visiting Uncle Dick

Rocket Team Rebuilds Fleet

Brigitta's Dance Recital

Annika Gets Stitches

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We support Ron Paul for President 2012.  

I think the founding fathers would be very disappointed in what has become of the American government and its leaders; we now have a corrupt empire that largely ignores its own constitution and tramples on individuals' liberties.  The founding fathers would like Ron Paul, however.  Congressman Paul consistently votes no on issues that are unconstitutional. If elected Ron Paul will end our wars, close our hundreds of military bases across the globe and end our unsustainable, financially irresponsible empire.  Ron Paul has more support from US troops than all other presidential candidates combined!  Dr. Paul is critical of government corruption and believes in protecting whistleblowers.  As a congressman, Paul does not participate in the congressional pension, has never voted to raise congressional pay and as President he would draw a salary of just $39,336, which is the median salary of the American worker.  Paul believes the War on Drugs is not working, is a waste of money, and violates citizen's personal freedoms.  Congressman Paul has never voted for: raising taxes, an unbalanced budget, a federal restriction on gun ownership or an increase in the power of the executive branch.  Paul is the only presidential candidate proposing a viable balanced budget.  He voted against: the Patriot Act, the TARP bailouts, regulating the Internet and the Iraq war.  Search YouTube for " Ron Paul predicts " to see how Paul has predicted many of our current major problems and crises years or decades before they happened.  Please do not waste your vote on the status-quo; elect Ron Paul for US President in 2012.  - David & Joan Hall

3-28-2010

Blog #324

David & Joan

 

Annika Gets Stitches


   On Tuesday we made our first real trip with one of our children to the Emergency Room. We always imagined it would be with Brigitta because she is so active, likes to climb and is such a risk taker. It was for Annika, who did nothing more than fall off a chair. Of course when she fell off the chair, she it the edge of the window sill and cut a deep gash right at her eyebrow. We donít know exactly how many stitches she received, but the doctor took 32 minutes to sew her up. They tried to do the very best job they can when cuts are on the face to minimize scarring and especially on a pretty little girl face. I have to say that Annika was a model patient. Although she cried at home, she never cried or objected to anything at the hospital and she was smiling, pleasant and talkative to the staff. They enjoyed having her!

 

 

 

Brigitta's Dance Recital (Reprise)

I rebuilt Brigitta's Dance Recital from 2006, just for fun.

 

 

 

Rocket Team Rebuilds Fleet

   This last Wednesday after school our rocket teams met for a five hour building session.  They built six rockets like the one below.  This version is much lighter.  The nose cone is made from a one dollar three inch Easter egg that came with Pop Rocks; it only weighs 13% of what the cone on our first version weighed.  It's not tough, but it is so light that a small Mylar streamer is plenty to slow its fall.  Not having a nose cone tied to the rocket reduces the chance of tangling the payload with the rocket and parachute lines.  The rocket itself is much shorter.  This is made possible by wrapping the streamer around the altimeter bay in the "Pogo Pod".  The Pogo Pod gives the egg and altimeter foam legs to help absorb impact without giving up space or much weight.  Our first rockets held a streamer below the altimeter and egg capsule.  We used thinner, lighter fins, motor centering rings, shock cords and were more conservative with heavy glues.  Students worked in groups of three to build six: motor mounts, fin sets, Pogo Pods and streamers, nose cones and finishing touches.  The work session went very well considering that it took us most of the school year to design and build the first three.  More to come about our Saturday launch.

 

 

Visiting Uncle Dick

   Last Sunday was a beautiful sunny, blue sky day. The perfect day to ride a bike or take a drive. David decided to ride his bike and the rest of us took a drive in the country. We went to visit Papaís brother Dick who lives in a nursing home in Doylestown. I wasnít sure how the girls would react to the folks there. Papa and Nana are the only older people the girls have been around and for their ages, they are exceptionally spry. They girls were great. They interacted with their Great Uncle Dick as he and Papa told funny stories of growing up. Many of the residents smiled as the three girls walked by and Svea, Brigitta and Annika were happy to smile and say ďhelloĒ back.

 

 

Mogadore Lake Hike

   On Saturday we took our first hike since last fall. The weather was beautiful and the temperature in the high 60ís. We hiked the trail along Mogadore Reservoir. The girls were happy to be outside and that it marked the beginning of Spring and our outdoor activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3-20-2010

Blog #323

David

 

Rocket Team - First Launch

It was not a good day.  Two out of our three rockets were destroyed on the launch pad by defective motors.  The motor casings literally blew up destroying the rocket bodies.  We have only two weeks left to qualify for the TARC national rocket competition and we are basically back to the drawing board. 

Our first launch was the best because nothing was destroyed.  The rocket was too heavy, however, and did not approach out target altitude of 825 feet.  I made our launch pad from an old camera tripod and a cookie sheet; the kids call it our "ghetto-pad".

 

We used a bigger motor for launch two, but it blew out the base of the rocket.

 

Launch three also blew out the base of the rocket; note the fin twisting off.  This shot shows the rocket hopping up a foot from the blast; it did not fly at all.

 

We went back to the smaller motor for launch four and it was spectacular.  I dumped a cup or two of bread flour onto the launch pad blast shield, under the motor.  The blast from the motor aerated and then ignited the flour, much like a grain elevator explosion.  Even though I thought it might ignite, I was surprised as to how dramatic the effect was.  After watching our other two rockets blow apart, most of the team thought this rocket also was exploding.  Click to enlarge this one.

 

The last rocket's motor ejection charge failed, so the recovery system never deployed.  The nose cone buried itself about 10 inches into the ground.  Even after "lawn-darting" the rocket and cone were not damaged.  The altimeter, however, shot through it's foam protection, through the egg payload and cracked against the tip of the cone.  It took several students to pry it out of the Earth.

 

My Sister Sheryl

All of our thoughts and prayers are with my sister Sheryl who underwent double mastectomies and reconstructive surgery yesterday.  My brother, Mark and my parents have been able to spend much time with her in the hospital in Anchorage.  I just spoke with my father a couple hours ago; Sheryl is doing well and will spend the next two weeks recovering at Mark's and Mom's and Dad's.

 

Night at The Races

Joan and I attended IHM's "Night at the Races" fundraiser last night.  We dressed up, had a nice dinner, enjoyed good company and even ended up two dollars ahead after betting on a few horses.

 

 

Roundabout

   Iím very excited about a new roundabout that will be replacing the three road intersection of Howe Road, Northeast Avenue (261) and Munroe Road. We drive through that intersection to get to our work, schools and many other regular destinations. Iím very aware of how much time, I, my family and everyone who uses that intersection regularly wastes waiting for lights to change. At two of the six directions I pulled over and timed the red, green and yellow lights with a stopwatch.  I determined that heading west on Howe the typical wait would be about one minute and the average wait heading north on 261 would be about 35 seconds.  On the average we waste about 95 seconds waiting at that intersection for every round trip we make.  I probably drive through that intersection eight times a week which totals 12 minutes 40 seconds a week.  In a year thatís almost 11 hours waiting at that one intersection.  Online sources indicate that cars typically burn a gallon of gasoline an hour at idle.  Thatís about $30 worth of gas and over 200 pounds of carbon dioxide, from one driver at that one intersection.  Joan drives through that intersection about twice as often as I do, so double those numbers for her.  Most of the times that I approach that intersection the only cars that are waiting would have passed through long before I arrive.  I think I rarely will need to stop at all once the roundabout is in place.  If you care to see my math or data, it is listed below.  One thing that did surprise me was that the light and total cycle durations were not consistent.


   West on Howe:
Green + Yellow for an average of 23 seconds
Red for an average of 137 seconds
Total average cycle 160 seconds
23/160 = 14.375% chance of hitting green (+yellow)
85.625% chance of hitting red
68.5 second average wait if you hit red
85.625% likelihood X 68.5 =
58.65 second average wait heading west on Howe (round to 1 minute)

   Northeast on Northeast Ave./261:
Green + Yellow for an average of 38 seconds
Red for an average of 98 seconds
Total average cycle 136 seconds
38/136 = 27.95% chance of hitting green (+yellow)
72.05% chance of hitting red
48 second average wait if you hit red
72.05% likelihood X 48 =
34.58 average wait heading north on 261 (round to 35 seconds)
Round trip total typical traffic light wait through Howe, Munroe and 261: 1 minute 35 seconds.
 

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3-8-2010

Blog #322

David & Joan

 

 

Annika's Cloud Birthday Party

   Annika had her first "true" birthday party on Saturday.  We had the neighborhood kids over and although most of the kids were older than Annika everyone had a great time.  The theme of the party (because ALL kids' parties must have themes) was "sky and clouds".  Now I have never heard of a sky party before, but Svea suggested it and Anni liked it so it was what we did.  We had cloud balloons on a floor covered with blue sheets for sky.  Pillow stuffing batting was hung from the chandelier in the dining room and scattered around the floor.  There were spoon races with marshmallows,  a parachute game with the balloons, and cotton candy hung from strings for them to eat off. Annika's cake was a grouping of tiny cupcakes in the shape of two clouds and a rainbow.  The party-goers also got to paint cloud pictures with acrylic paints.  Lastly, David took them all for a sled ride behind the snowmobile.  It was possibly the last snowmobile/sled ride of the year as we are hoping spring has arrived.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David's Birthday and Pie

I take a lot of pictures; when I sat down to open gifts Svea grabbed her camera.  I let her use the Nikon D200.  Pretty soon Brigitta was using the other Nikon and Annika was using the Canon.  The girls took about 200 pictures while I opened gifts and we are birthday pie

 

Photo by Svea

 

Photo by Svea

 

Photo by Svea

 

Photo by Svea

 

Photo by Svea

 

Photo by Svea

 

Look at those olive and pimento eyes

Photo by Brigitta

 

Photo by Brigitta

 

The D200 looks huge in Svea's hands

Photo by Brigitta

 

Photo by Svea

 

Photo by Annika

 

Photo by Svea

 

Photo by Annika

 

Photo by Brigitta

 

Photo by Svea

 

Photo by Annika

 

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3-5-2010

Blog #321

David

 

Happy Birthday Me!

(45)

 

   I turn 45 today; we are celebrating Annika's birthday with a little party today, however.  Tonight we plan on attending the "Festival of Nations" dance review at the Akron Civic Theatre. 

 

Annika Performs

 

   Treehouse Preschool held their Annual Father/Grandfather Night on Thursday.  Annika and her classmates performed several songs and dances for Papa, myself and the other fathers and grandfathers.  She did a great job and it was a fun show.  She also made a neat pencil holder cup that I am now using at school.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Annika!

(5)

 

   Annika turned five on Thursday, "March Fourth".  If you don't know the story, Joan's pregnancy and Annika's birth were quite an ordeal.  We are lucky that both of them are alive.  Here's a page about her birth.  We celebrated her birthday with the family on Thursday and she is having a small "cloud theme" party with neighbor friends today.  Svea took dozens of pictures of objects and places throughout the house; she then printed thumbnails of the pictures that she taped to the objects and places in a series which led Annika on a treasure hunt to her gift which was hidden in the baidarka kayak in the living room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Nana!

(87)

 

   Nana turned 87 on Monday.  Eighty seven sounds pretty old; unless you know Nana.  Since Nana's birthday is in Lent, and she gives up sweets, she got apple muffins instead of a cake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Tech Free Weekend - Legos & Sledding

 

 

   Last weekend we went screen free for 48 hours.  On Saturday I added steerable outrigger skis to our awesome toboggan.  It now is less tippy in deep snow and has some steering capabilities. Sunday was a flashback to my childhood; I spent the entire day sorting parts and building an 11 story Lego castle.  I was surprised as to how well I did without using/watching the computer or TV.  Joan and the girls also did very well and had a good weekend.  My students and their parents gave the Screen Tech Free Weekend mixed reviews.  Some parents and students thought it was a good experience, many were relatively indifferent and most did not like the experience/assignment.  Like it or not, I'm convinced that many students have gained a greater awareness of how dependant they are on screen devices for entertainment and how quality time can be found without such things.  Even though most students reported that their weekends were less fun than typical, most did go sledding, build snowmen and igloos and played low tech games with their families. 

 

 

 

 

Annika Downhill Skis

 

   We had a snow day last Friday, but it wasn't too snowy to drive to Boston Mills.  I decided that Svea and Brigitta were experienced enough to ride the lift and ski together, so I gave Annika her first lesson.  She struggled until I used a ski pole help firmly against my knees, sticking out to my right so that she'd have a handle to steady herself.  That worked fairly well and we even made a few runs on the bigger hills.  Svea and Brigitta rode every lift at Boston Mills and managed not to kill themselves, much to my relief. 

 

 

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