Soap Box Derby – The Thrill of It All

Soap Box Derby – The Thrill of It AllFor years, sports fanatics have debated which is the most exciting spectator sport. Some argue nothing beats football for sheer intensity and physicality. Others point to the gladiator-like combat of hockey. And some people prefer badminton, but then, some people are idiots. For me, it’s female mud wrestling. I really don’t think I should have to explain this.

But recently I came upon one more contender for your consideration: Soap Box Derby racing. Before you scoff, hear me out. A few weeks ago, I attended the 11thAnnual Stanwood-Camano Island Soap Box Derby – the only such event in the entire state of Washington. When I heard the race was coming to town, I immediately submitted my application as a last-minute entry. Alas, I just missed the competition age limit (by 550 months – oh, so close).

First a bit of background. The Soap Box Derby is a racing program for kids ages 7 through 17, which has been run throughout the United States since 1934. The National Championship Finals are held each July at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio. Racers compete in ultra-lightweight unpowered vehicles which they have built themselves, traversing a gentle incline over the space of roughly 1,000 feet, relying on their driving skills and gravity to reach the finish line first.

Having neglected to educate myself on the rich history and subtle nuances of this sport, I had no idea what to expect. I apparently arrived too late to catch the live pre-event concert by the Beach Boys. But what I did see was a colorful parade of home-built cars – 72 in all – each one sponsored by a different local business, like Camano Hardware, the Kiwanis Club, and Rothschild Estates’ White Swan Polo Club.

The competitors took great pride in their vehicles, having sawed, sanded, glued and painted them with only a little help from mom or dad. The Rothschild Estates entry, however, drew a few murmurs as the it appears the family’s footman clearly played a hand in its construction.

When the gun goes off, two underage drivers barrel down a straight asphalt track divided by a double yellow line. Miraculously, there were no serious injuries and not a single altercation among any of the kids. The only ruckus took place at the concession among a group of testosterone-driven dads over who had done a better job painting flames on the side of his kid’s car.

In other good news, not a single racer was eliminated for any performance-enhancing substances (the dads weren’t tested). However, there was one anxious moment when an 11-year-old boy was almost disqualified minutes before the start of his heat, due to sudden manic and erratic behavior. Turns out he was suffering from a nasty brain freeze from the strawberry Slurpee he’d just chugged a little too fast. After a few anxious moments he was fine.

It was fun watching these kids zoom down the track. Okay, perhaps zoom is overstating it slightly. Maybe “glide with an occasional careen” would be a more accurate description – sort of like my mother charging around the nursing home in her wheelchair.

Perhaps it wasn’t the adrenaline-pumping action of the Indianapolis 500 – or even the 5th Annual Las Vegas Female Mud Wrestling Finals. But it was still a kick to see the excitement in these kids’ eyes as they leaned forward, urging their cars to the finish line.

Sadly, one exuberant competitor was just about to win when she applied her brakes a few feet too early, letting the other race car eclipse her at the finish. Happily, she qualified for a consolation round, so her racing day was not over.

When I was the age of these dare-devils, I too tried my hand at building a blazing fast racing machine. I cobbled together a discarded bike frame and a lawn mower engine to create a motorized mini-cycle. Having inadvertently installed the engine on the frame backwards, the only direction the bike would go was in reverse (true). My maiden voyage only lasted about ten seconds, as I quickly wiped out and scraped my knees badly. Alas, my dreams of racing glory died forever that day.

At the soap box derby, by the afternoon’s end, two elated winners took home trophies and the chance to advance to the Nationals in Akron. I walked away thinking Soap Box Derby racing was actually pretty cool… and wouldn’t it be even cooler if they held the entire competition in a giant mud field like the female mud wrestlers? Yeah, now that would be something I’d watch for sure.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

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Pirate’s Dinner Adventure (Reviewed)

Pretty awesome dinner theater in Buena Park, California, just down the street from Disneyland. It’s got acrobatics, lovely maidens in distress, and pirates too!

See more adventures at another site of Brian’s:  www.CaliforniaWithKids.com.

By the way, the latter site actually has interviews with the pirates too!

So as well as the video, here are a couple of posts from California with Kids.

Explore the site for more ideas for places to go with your kids.

And keep checking the Youtube channel for updates!

Interview with the pirates from Pirate Dinner Adventure (part 1)

Interview with the pirates from Pirate Dinner Adventure (part 2)

Royalty-free music “One-Eyed Maestro” by Kevin MacLeod — Incompetech.com. Read more Pirate’s Dinner Adventure (Reviewed)

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Bad Keming: Than K Yo u Th Ank You

Howdy Interweb folks! I’m Bobby Joe, and this here editorial makin’ kinda guy is known to our all ‘n’ sundries as the Brian K. White.
K is also what you git in the kerning.
Now how do kerning be defined?
Glossy News Bossmaster Brian K. White just done gone tell us, on the Youtube:

Kerning is the adjustment of spacing between printed letters. This, however, is just an abomination.

Abomination? How so, say Bobby Joe?
The only ‘kerning’ y’all need to doing in yer spare timesickles is for to be kerning for yer wife, yer dawg, yer kids, ‘n’ maybe yer favorite government official, pastor, all y’all religious folks o one kind or anuther, and when the goddarn taxman men be comin’ t’ git yer guns.
Other than that, kerning can be left all them stupid highfalutin city folks wi’ their quinoa coffee ‘n’ fancy pick-ups wi’ organic engines.
This here is Bobby Joe for now! See all this here fancy pants little videowebs and share it on the social medias! Or tell yer wife or yer vacation wife where these here video do be made!

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Children’s Alphabet Book Author Struggles to Find Animal Starting with Elemeno

C is for cat and E is for elephant.

Every young child in the English-speaking world knows these two basic facts, thanks to the rhymes and illustrations of children’s alphabet books.

However, it turns out, according to author Alfred Labette, that these books have not been entirely forthcoming with the younger generations since their inception.

Labette shared a little-known secret that nearly every alphabet book published since the height of the Roman Empire has skipped past the under-appreciated Elemeno.

“People assume X is the letter that gives us all the trouble,” Labette explains. “But it’s really the elusive Elemeno that makes things difficult. And no wonder it’s forgotten with how quickly we rush through that part of the song.” Alfred, or Alf to his friends, says he has approached the problem from multiple angles, including using animal names from other languages and even mythical creatures. “I’ve got some ideas brewing that are lightyears beyond any other of those sophomoric authors,” Labette declares with pride in his eyes.

A tortured soul to say the least, Labette wakes up every morning, stares at a blank piece of paper for three hours, and then pours through line after line of text on the Internet, looking for inspiration until the caffeine and vitamin B finally wear off. His deadline is fast approaching with just under three weeks to find the answer.

Still, Labette is confident he will have the first true alphabet animal book assembled and published, complete from aardvark to zorgon.

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Pokemon-Go Craze Puts U.S. Elections in Doubt

NEW YORK – The incredibly addictive Pokemon-Go app, which has sent countless millions of people out into the world to stare at their cell phones more than ever, has now put the U.S. Presidential elections in doubt.

Current CNN polls show that voter turnout will be at an all-time low (17%) as millions of registered voters see little point in voting for U.S. President while there are still so many fabulous Pokemon characters out there to catch.
Read more Pokemon-Go Craze Puts U.S. Elections in Doubt

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Cuddly Kitten It’sNoCan’t Invents Funny Tales to Amuse Children (Story 2)

Note: I think the following story from an anonymous source is really rather foolish, trite and lacking in serious artistic maturity.

It is excessively fantastical, it is whimsical to the point of nonsensical, and quite frankly, I am tempted to say that the author has all but wasted their time.

I do not see anything in this story other than nonsensical tomfoolery, and a pseudo-artistry which borders on the idiotic. Still, I have decided to print it anyway. See the following link:

http://glossynews.com/society/kids-zone/201511040300/funny-cat-story-explanation-more-sensible-than-the-story/

http://glossynews.com/top-stories/get-your-war-on/201511050200/cuddly-kitten-itsnocant-invents-funny-tales-to-amuse-children-story-1/

Continued from last time:

With a most congenial purr of satisfaction, It’sNoCan’t said: Read more Cuddly Kitten It’sNoCan’t Invents Funny Tales to Amuse Children (Story 2)

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Cuddly Kitten It’sNoCan’t Invents Funny Tales to Amuse Children (Story 1)

Note: I think the following story from an anonymous source is really rather foolish, trite and lacking in serious artistic maturity.

It is excessively fantastical, it is whimsical to the point of nonsensical, and quite frankly, I am tempted to say that the author has all but wasted their time.

I do not see anything in this story other than nonsensical tomfoolery, and a pseudo-artistry which borders on the idiotic. Still, I have decided to print it anyway. See the following link:

http://glossynews.com/society/kids-zone/201511040300/funny-cat-story-explanation-more-sensible-than-the-story/

Critic of feral kitty-kats, non amateur-naughty-story-theorist & professional (-ish!) moderate-political-storyteller Prim-Prim ‘Tall Story’ It’sNoCan’t…

Has recently joked that mutual enemies the Iguana Statists, the Cheeky Cuckoos and the Southpaw Cats Information Agency temporarily put aside their differences recently, and staged the Grand(-iloquently Silly) Funny Street Furfight Massacre. Read more Cuddly Kitten It’sNoCan’t Invents Funny Tales to Amuse Children (Story 1)

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Funny Cat Story: Explanation (More Sensible than the Story)

An anonymous source from Romania emailed me the ‘It’sNoCan’t’ funny cat story as an example of a typical Eastern European fairy tale.

When they contacted me, they claimed they were following a tip from a former vegetable gardener I had met on Snapchat for an impromptu professional gymnastics investment.

However, my memory is hazy about all of this (partly from the passing of many long and happy years in the recent interim), and I can’t say for sure who the person was.

In any case, my source is some kind of an anonymous person of one sort or another, so I respect their (somewhat) sincerely held artistic convictions… Read more Funny Cat Story: Explanation (More Sensible than the Story)

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“Will you take $750 for that 2013 BMW?” – Helping my teenager buy her first car

Recently I helped our younger teenage daughter, Emmy, purchase her first car. She had no idea how much used cars cost. I think she was hoping to afford a slightly used Lexus.

What she got instead was a lesson in how much cars actually cost. Emmy hates it when I mention her by name in my blog, so I will just call her “Miss Enthusiasm” – “M. E.” for short. Read more “Will you take $750 for that 2013 BMW?” – Helping my teenager buy her first car

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How Condoms are Really Used (Home School Video)

Condoms are funny because they are balloons guys put on their wieners, but they’re also deadly serious.

They can be the thin blue shield between you and HIV, but they also come in purple as well as they purple-in the… well, you know.

The problem is that red states, specifically home schoolers, don’t get safe sex education. They have higher rates of sexually transmitted outbreaks, higher teen pregnancy, and it also feels better for teens who don’t deserve it. Read more How Condoms are Really Used (Home School Video)

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Better parenting through polling

When it comes to parenting, I don’t always make the best decisions. I’m not always sure what the right thing to do is in a difficult situation.

Like the time our elder daughter begged and pleaded with me to let her drive the car to the mall. It was a sunny day. Traffic was light. And she had behaved extremely well all week long. So against my better judgment, I said okay. Two minutes later, she smashed the car into a stop sign barely 100 yards from our driveway. A part of me can’t help but wonder whether in retrospect I made a mistake giving in to the incessant pleadings of an eight-year-old to drive my minivan. Read more Better parenting through polling

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Philae Lander Voted “Bouncy House Of The Year”

Physics Today, the flagship journal of the American Institute of Physics, has announced the ESA Philae lander is the first winner in a new category in their annual awards for breakthroughs in physics, “Bouncy House Of The Year”.

“This year saw many breakthroughs, but the one that stood out from all the rest was the ESA’s repeated and successful bouncing of their 2 billion dollar lander on the comet 67P, lodging it on it’s side under a cliff, and rendering the lander useless and impotent to science” said AIP President Justin Fundworthy.

“By bouncing the lander several times yet remaining on the surface, the Rosetta and Philae team have proven when future human comet colonist rent a bouncy house for their childrens birthday parties, the bouncy house will not fly off into space” said Harry Johnson, editor of PhysicsWorld.com.

“It’s been an exciting year for physics, we commend the work of the nine runners-up but it’s hard to beat a good bouncy house GIF” said Dr. Johnson.

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Gambling Classes to be Added to School Curriculum in 5 Different States

Stop complaining that school doesn’t prepare you for real life.

“The Real World, Real Skills Bill” has finally passed through the senate — adding gambling classes to the core curriculum of five states. The teachers are abuzz, students are excited and parents are desperately trying to figure out how they, themselves, can enroll. Read more Gambling Classes to be Added to School Curriculum in 5 Different States

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