March 2011 Archives

Followup: Science Fair 2011

Colin's science fair project began back in mid-February. For more than 30 days he measured the lift of a declining number of helium balloons. Then he plotted a graph for each balloon's lift over time and made a bar chart comparing how long each one remained aloft. Three of the mylar balloons lasted longer than the experiment!


This week was the actual fair and I had to be out of town for work. I tried to help get the display to a finished state before leaving, but failed. Mom, and even his babysitter stepped in to get it all done! His display includes all the logs and charts, pictures of the process, and even the remaining balloons.

I'm pleased to say that he did great and impressed the judges with his hard work. I'm so proud that he stuck with it.


And I didn't get dinged for being too helpful!

Colin's First Ski Day

Colin had his first ski lesson at Silver Mountain. It was an all-day lesson and he said it was "Awesome!" His instructor said he was a natural learner. They went down both green circle and green square runs, and even took two trips up the chair lift!

The helmet and goggles never fit quite right

Beauregard Returns

Something had our cat's attention this morning. At first I thought it was a vole and almost let her out to chase it. Then I saw it was a Beauregard (aka Chinese Ring-Neck Pheasant) back after a long winter. He was polite enough to wait while I switched camera lenses.


Mom's Old Sewing Machine

Today I wanted to make some curtains for my office. Picked out some fabric and brought out Mom's old sewing machine. It's kind of an odd thing, but seeing, using, and smelling this old sewing machine brings back vague but happy childhood memories. I remember being fascinated by its knobs and its mechanics -- the way that the take-up lever goes up and down, winding and unwinding thread onto the bobbin, the way the foot lifts up and down, and the way it moves the fabric forward. I find the sound comforting as well. As a kid I must have driven Mom crazy by pushing the various buttons and changing all the settings.


I didn't dare change any of the settings today. It was working well enough. The light bulb still works, and yes, that's masking tape holding things together under the needle. But the old machine is finicky. Sometimes it needs a little help to get started. The first few seams that I made are sort of bunched up. I learned that you have to help pull the fabric through. We have a single spool of white thread and the curtain fabric is red, but that's okay.

My worst fear was that the bobbin would run out of thread and I wouldn't be able to get it going again. That didn't happen until the very very end, but the needle did fall out in the middle of a seam on the second set. I don't think I put it in right because after that it wasn't working quite the same.

Are you playin' the same game I am?


Second and Snow

We had a crazy amount of wet, heavy snow last night. It warmed up by the time I made it into work and huge clumps of snow were raining down from trees and wires. I really like Moscow's new street signs and was looking for excuses to take pictures of the snow.