The Themes of 2008

Robots – Camp – Books – Theater – Illness 



January started with the kick off of the FIRST Robotics Challenge. Jonathan and his band Robodox learned the ‘game’ and began building a robot to ‘play’ the game. In mid-February the robot was crated and shipped off to the first competition in San Diego. The team including Jonathan and Marc (as chaperone) drove down to San Diego for 2 nights and 2 days of exciting roboting fun. Robodox made it into the elimination round, and was promptly eliminated. However they did win the Gracious Professionalism Award for how much they helped other teams. The second competition was in Los Angeles at the Sports Arena. Again, Marc joined the team at the two days of competition. Again Robodox made it into the elimination round, and was promptly eliminated. Again they won the Gracious Professionalism Award for how much they helped other teams. The third and last competition of the year was in Atlanta, Georgia, at the FIRST World Championship. Although Marc tagged along to Atlanta as well, this time Robodox did not make it into the elimination round or win the Gracious Professionalism Award, but they were recognized by a judge for Gracious Professionalism. Everyone had a good time.


Jonathan and Benjamin both went to camp this year (at the same time). Jackie and Marc took advantage of some of the alone time to travel to the bay area to visit with some friends and family. They spent about half our time in San Francisco staying with Jackie’s cousins. Marc and Jackie’s cousin Lisa share the same birthday, which was celebrated with a special breakfast in their honor. Marc was surprised that Jackie helped cook. The second half of the vacation was spent in Half Moon Bay with Marc’s friend Hazel, her husband Paul and their son Elan. It was very relaxing. Benjamin’s camp was only three weeks while Jonathan’s was four weeks. So, Marc and Jackie went back to a one child household for a week. 


You probably think this is where we tell what books we have read this year. If you want, we can do that but I fear it would be a frightfully extravagant use of paper. Instead we will just say that Marc published two books. [Available at]. You should also look for his next book to be out in February 2009.


As we always do, we saw a lot of live theater in 2008, but that was not enough for Benjamin. He wanted to participate in some. So, when Marc read that a new community theater was trying to startup and was looking for people to participate in their inaugural production of Scrooge: The Musical. Marc brought Benjamin to one of their tryouts. As it turns out, Jackie was very glad that she was not the one to bring Benjamin. You see, the director asked Marc if he wanted to be in the show. Marc said no. Then the director said that he wasn’t sure they would have enough people to put the show on. Marc, said that he would do it, but only if they did not require him to sing in tune or dance. As for remembering lines, Marc offered to be the Ghost of Christmas Future (in case you don’t remember GCF does not speak). The director agreed. In the both Benjamin and Marc had to remember lines, sing and dance. They had a good time and Marc might even do it again. Benjamin definitely wants to do it again.


2008 was not particularly good year with regard to the health of some of our friends and family.