Zev News – March 2008

Tuesday, March 4

Marc asked Western Bagel if they would donate bagels to Jonathan’s Robotics team and they agreed.  They said he should come by Tuesday night and they would give him all the leftover bagels they hadn't sold that day.  He also asked Bagel Bagel if they would donate bagels and they said the same thing.  So Tuesday night, Marc went to Western Bagel, and then to Bagel Bagel and brought home bagels.  Jackie looked at all the bagels on the kitchen table and said, "Marc! How many bagels did you get?" "Oh," Marc replied “about 16 dozen!"  There are only about 30 kids going to San Diego and a handful of adults.  That meant that there were five or six bagels for each person for the three days!


Wednesday, March 5 – San Diego Robotics competition (as told by Jonathan)

I went to San Diego on the bus. (Daddy drove down separately.)  On the bus, we played DS and Scrabble.  I forgot my book light so I listened to his MP3 player.  We dropped our stuff off in their room and walked to dinner at Chili's.  I shared a room with Daniel H.,  Saar and Alex A.  After dinner, we went back to our room, played Magic and went to sleep.


Thursday, March 6 – San Diego Robotics competition (as told by Jonathan)

We woke up, had breakfast (bagels, Danish and coffee cake,) went to the competition and organized the pit.  We started to get our robot up and running and missed all the practice matches, because our robot wasn’t working.  I didn't do much because the grabber was working.  Daddy brought in pizza for lunch and we went to Soup Plantation for dinner. Then we went to the hotel, played some more Magic, and went to sleep.


Friday, March 7 – San Diego Robotics competition (as told by Jonathan)

Until the competition started, it was the same as Thursday.  We were in the very first match.  We got our robot to semi-working order, put it on the field, and went to opening ceremonies.  We sang both the American and Canadian national anthems.  (There was a Canadian team present.)  Then the competition heard Dean Kamen, the founder of FIRST, who was in Kansas at another meet and spoke via telephone. In the first match, our robot lost us the match by driving the wrong way during hybrid mode.  We didn't participate in our next match because we were fixing the robot.  We were in all the matches after that.  In our fourth match, we did really well.  We hurtled twice and placed the ball on top at the end.  In the fifth match, our lift got stuck up, which meant we couldn't go around the track (the robot couldn't pass under the overpass with the lift up.) In one of the matches, another robot in our alliance fell over.  At the end of the day, we were in 10th place.  We had been as high as 7th at one point.  There was an awards ceremony, and then we had dinner at Chick-a-fill-a.  After dinner, we went to the hotel and played Magic.


Saturday, March 8 (as told by Jonathan)

My room woke up early and went to breakfast at IHOP.  We then went to sports arena and worked on the robot.  There were more opening ceremonies, Dean Kamen spoke, in first person this time.  He was supposed to go to Rochester but the weather prevented that, so he came to San Diego instead.  He spoke about a prosthetic arm that he is working on.  The next opening ceremonies event was a kind of parade.  The announcer said, “Where are the trackballs?” A little boy in a little car came out with a mouse trackball.  Then the judges came out in bigger cars with beach balls, and threw the beach balls around.  Then the mascots came out in even bigger cars with the real trackballs.  The mascots danced around for a little while and then the matches started.  Around lunchtime, the qualifying matches ended and alliances were chosen for the elimination round.  At the end of the qualifying matches, we were in 16th place. Lunch was El Pollo Loco in the parking lot.  After lunch was the elimination matches.  There was dancing in between each match as the judges scored the matches.  My team did the electric slide.  In the elimination round, the matches were single elimination, but winning involved winning two out of three games. Games were not consecutive, giving teams a chance to fix their robot and replace batteries.  We were eliminated in the quarterfinals.  Then there was an awards ceremony. We won the Gracious Professionalism award.  We left right after the awards ceremony because we had tickets to “Man of LaMancha” at 8 p.m. that night (in Santa Clarita.) 


(Jackie adds) Marc and Jonathan were supposed to leave at 5, but didn’t get out until 5:20.  They didn't make the 8 p.m. start time but were saved by the fact that the director always talks for 10 minutes before they start the show. They slid into their seats one minute before they turned down the lights!  We all thoroughly enjoyed the show!


Monday, March 10 (told by Benjamin)

I woke up at 5 and got to school at 6 a.m.  Mommy passed out bagels which were left over from the Robotics tournament to all the kids.  I ate a bagel.  The buses were supposed to be there at 6 but they didn't show up until 7.  Mommy heard that there was a mistake with the reservation time. Everyone got on the buses.  I got bored on the buses.  I read part of a book.  We got to the boat.  There wasn't much to see on the boat.  We got to CIMI camp. I learned a few things about CIMI like the fact that it was once a military camp.  Then I managed to carry my bags to my dorm.  Then I went to a few labs. First was a shark/ray lab. I managed to touch some sharks and rays, mostly the bat ray. The bat ray would look at you through the water and every once in a while it would jump. The bat ray felt slimy but once you took your hand from the water he wasn't slimy all. Ember and I named the bat ray “Puppy” but most people called it “Slimy”.  Then we went to the algae lab.  In the algae lab, I ate algae.  I only ate one type of algae, and it tasted disgusting.  Eric thought it tasted like slimy lettuce.  We then tore off pieces of algae and made algae presses from them.  They sat on our desks during spring break.  Then we did something that we took an oath not to talk about.  But I accidentally raised my left hand when I said.  "I (state your name) will …" so I changed that part to "I (state your name) might follow this oath." I went into a "maze".  It was a very easy maze, discounting the fact that it was used for military purposes, and it was pitch black.  You can close your eyes and see the same thing you could see if your eyes were open.  There were three lights in the whole thing – at the entrance, the halfway point, and the exit.  It was really super fun.  Then we had free time.  Then dinner, then we went rock climbing, then quiet hours, then lights out.


Tuesday, March 11

I woke up between 5 and 6 courtesy of Michael, who is in the same room.  I was in "Albatross." Most everyone else was still asleep.  We got dressed, had breakfast and went snorkeling.  I didn't really like snorkeling.  It feels like you can’t breathe, even though you can.  I didn't see any Garibaldi, the state fish.  We did hear a story about Garibaldi.  They are bright orange and they defend their territory.  One day a girl went snorkeling, wearing her favorite bright orange flippers.  A Garibaldi saw her flippers and came and bit the flippers, and then another came and another and they started pulling her down, pulling her leg, just like I'm pulling your leg now!  Then we had lunch.  I went to the plankton lab.  I saw a cool board.  It was connected to a laptop and it would display what was on the laptop, but you could write on it with special pens.  We also saw a microscope with plankton.  To see the plankton and we would look on a computer.  There were lots of copepods.  Then we got waterproof clay, which we had to turn into a plankton.  We raced plankton and the slowest plankton won.  I didn't win.  Then I did the invertebrate lab.  I found two things, one we named "Marshy" (short for marshmallow) and the other we named Marshmallow.  I kissed a cucumber, so now I will have good luck for seven years.  Michael fought "Old Grandpa," who is a plastic lobster.  Then we had dinner and went on a hike.  The hike was more exciting than I would've liked it to be.  One person had an asthma attack.  On the hike we learned about astronomy.  We learned what a comet is.  It is Coyote’s tail burning.  I will tell you a story about that later.  Then we hiked back and went to bed.


Wednesday, March 12

We got up and started packing.  We had breakfast and did more packing, and we went on the day hike.  On the hike back, I ate some fox poo.  It had the texture of peanut butter.  Then we got back to our dorms and the inspector checked our dorm.  It was clean.  Then we went back to the boat.  We had lunch on the boat. Then the bus ride home.  That was CIMI.  I liked the maze best and after the maze, I liked the plankton lab.  It was cool and it had a cool board.


P.S. The shooting star story is as follows: There was Coyote.  Coyote was the kind of person who'd wake you up at 12 midnight and say, "Want to party?"  But no one did.  Then Coyote noticed that the stars are always partying.  So coyote went up to the tallest chimney in CIMI and said in a really loud voice, "Hey stars!  I want to party with you.  I really, really want to party with you.  Please let me party with you!"  Sirius, the dog star, heard him and thought "Coyote is probably not housebroken and I will have to keep him in my house because I’m the closest star." (Little did he know that Coyote was housebroken.) So Sirius yells down, "No sir!"  The next night, Coyote goes to the second highest mountain on CIMI.  This time, both Sirus and Orion hear him.  Sirius says, "Don't let him in!  Don't let him in!"  Orion says, "He might win the seven sisters away from me, so let's not let him in." So Sirius yells down "No sir!" The next night, Coyote goes to the highest mountain in CIMI and yells the same thing again.  The seven sisters say "Let's let him up, but if he stops dancing, let's send him away forever."  So Coyote goes up and the stars warn him that he can't stop dancing.  But in a week that he does.  But the seven sisters say that he did so much dancing he should be allowed up anytime.  He's only mortal, he has to sleep sometime!.  So Sirius says, "All right."  And Orion throws him down.  But Orion, being a star, makes Coyote’s tail catch on fire.  He puts a note in Coyote’s paw.  It says "you can come back anytime as long as we have a week without you in between." But Coyote doesn't read the note because he's too busy yowling.  So whenever you see a shooting star, it is really Coyote coming down from the stars with his tail burning.


Saturday, March 15.

Marc delivered on his promise that if he raised enough money for pediatric cancer research that he would shave his head by getting his head shaved.  Afterward (around 10) we left for Reno. On the drive up, it hailed, rained and snowed on us.  We got there a little after six, met a hyper Jason, had dinner and fell asleep.


Sunday, March 16

We got up, rented skis, and went skiing.  We didn’t get poles for Benjamin, because he hadn’t skied with poles last year.  It’s common for young kids to ski without poles.  Marc and Benjamin skied green (beginner) runs together and they tried a blue (intermediate) run.  They learned that Benjamin needed to learn how to turn and needed poles (poles are very useful whenever it is flat. Jonathan skied with Jason in the morning and after lunch they were joined by Patrick.  Jonathan fell down multiple times on Ramseys, which ruined Jason's confidence in Jonathan's abilities.  Jason went back to the lodge and Jonathan and Patrick skied together for awhile.  Then they met up with Jackie and Kris and Jackie and Jonathan skied together for awhile.  Jonathan skied Ramseys again and did much better.  Then we went back to the house and had dinner and went to bed.


Monday, March 17 (Benjamin's birthday)

We went to Virginia City, and saw the cemetery.  One of the tombstones had an interesting poem on it.  The poem went “Two stars lit up the twilight sky/We watched them through the night/But with the dawn the twin was gone/Vanished in the night.”  We liked it very much.  Then we had lunch and went to the Mark Twain Museum.  We went back to Reno and visited the Mining exhibit at the University.  We came home, played the dictionary game, and went to out dinner for ribs to celebrate Benjamin’s birthday. Benjamin got a Star Wars DS game, a logic puzzle book, tickets to “Wicked” and Lucky Charms.  We learned that because it was holy Monday, the Pope had moved St. Patrick's Day to March 15th but the stores didn’t seem to know this.


Tuesday, March 18

Got up, went skiing.  Benjamin took a lesson to teach him to turn.  Jonathan set off with Jason.  Jason didn't want to do the harder blue runs because he wasn't confident of Jonathan’s ability and the snow wasn't as nice as it had been on Sunday.  After a few runs, Jonathan and Jason met up with Jackie and Kris, and they all did some of the blue runs on the other side of the mountain. Jackie left to look for Benjamin (whose lesson was over) and Jonathan and Jason and Kris skied some more and then we all met for lunch.  After lunch, Jackie and Jonathan and Benjamin went to do the Kit Carson bowl but Benjamin didn't have confidence that he could do it, and wanted to do Lakeview instead.  However, he didn't have enough confidence to do that either, so Jonathan went on ahead and skied some runs by himself.  Kris caught up with Jackie and Benjamin and helped Benjamin ski Lakeview. Jonathan met up with Jason and they skied some blue runs together.  Kris, Jackie, and Benjamin tried the Kit Carson run and Benjamin only had a lack of confidence (not a severe lack!)  He has good form – his biggest problem is confidence.  He made up names - "beak" for when he's turning and "playpod" for when he's going straight and his skis are parallel. Then Jason got tired and went in and Jonathan met up with Jackie and Kris.  They left Benjamin to ski green runs by himself until the lifts closed. Jonathan, Jackie and Kris skied black (advanced) runs the rest of the day.  Jonathan only felt twice and one of those didn't count.  We then came home and had dinner and played “Man bites Dog.”