Monday, January 31, 2011

Bayou Mission Drumline Competition

On Saturday, the Parkcrest Drumline went to Houston to compete in a drumline contest. Ed, Clark, Jessica, and I drove down for the day to cheer on and support the Pumas.

The contest was held in a high school auditorium. While it was nice to be inside, it was super loud! It was also dark, being an old school, so it was fun to play around with camera and flash settings. (I took 226 photos! Gasp!)

The opening- These guys played and another guy sang The National Anthem.

Parkcrest was the first middle school to perform in the middle school division.

Mason is in the next two photos.

Parkcrest did really well. They used the full stage, moved continuously, and had great showman ship.

The high school division performed next. There were some really good & entertaining performances and some boring performances. It was all very interesting to see, that is for sure!

While we waited, I shot some more photos of the kids and Mr. Bailey, the director. Here is one of Mr. Bailey and Mason.
The 3 judges picked their top two favorite middle school drumlines and called them to the stage for a "Battle of the Bands." Parkcrest and B.C. Elmore! They each played 3 more cadences, one at a time, while facing off.

In the end, Parkcrest took 2nd place and earned respect for their performance and skills. Our snare section leader accepted the trophy on our behalf.
So we go outside to find the two middle schools squaring off in the parking lot having another battle. Here are a couple of pics of Mason.

Then our drummers marched over to have a group meeting and take a group picture.

Click on this pic to see it in a bigger size.Mr. Bailey sent around an email the next day. It is worth sharing.
PCMS Drumline Parents:
The kids did an AMAZING job on yesterday!!!! After the positive feedback from those in the audience, drumline members from other middle schools & high schools, a $250.00 donation check, 3 invitations to attend competitions held in Houston & Dallas, and the high level of respect from the directors of the winning would think that Park Crest came home with a 1st place trophy. (Honestly, I didn't get this much feedback after we won first place last year)

I spoke with the director of the winning Drumline & one of the judges today, and they could not stop talking about how great our kids did!!!

What's even more important is, our kids were able to have a ms experience that they will always cherish for a life time. From the stage performance routine, to the face-off battle on stage, and on to the parking lot battle. In this style of Drumming, you couldn't ask for a more rewarding experience! I wish I could have put on a drum and played myself!!!

This exposure also helped the Park Crest Drumline form a closer bond, and pull together in moving forward to prepare for the next competition. I wish you could have heard their conversations on the bus ride home, and the level of creativity they were coming up with. During our previous practices, I could only paint the picture for the competition; after experiencing for themselves yesterday, I am sure you we see a much stronger Drumline at our upcoming performances & competition!!!

Thank you for all the support, and a special thanks to the parents that traveled with us!!!!

One kid asked me, "Mr. Bailey why aren't you mad?'", and my reply was, "as much as I wanted that first place trophy, it's difficult to be disappointed after receiving such a high level of respect as we did after the competition."

Our kids made a huge impact on the Houston show style Drumline community.

I couldn't have asked for more!

Well said, Mr. Bailey, well said!

Science Fair Awards

Today was the Science Fair Awards at Dane's school. I am happy to report that he earned a gold certificate (out of gold, silver, and bronze) and he advances to the Austin Regional Science Fair in February.

Yay for Dane! Yay for beans!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Dane did a really neat science fair project called, "Bringing Beans Back To Life." It was about re-hydrating beans at different time intervals to measure how much water they absorb. He was able to do the process and steps all by himself so it was perfect for him.

Ed and I helped with photos, typing, and putting the board together.

Here is Dane with his project board outside his classroom on Science Fair judging day. Since we signed papers allowing him to participate in Regionals should he advance, he was judged separately by two different judges today. We will find out on Monday afternoon if he advances. Fingers crossed until then.

Dane's class did a class project about growing crystals. I got a small group of students to pose around their project that was displayed in the school library.
Bean lovers, here is a tip for you! 9 hours in water is the optimal soaking time. Any time beyond that yields very little water absorption. At 9 hours, the bean doubles it weight. Good to know, right?

Science Fair Judge

Today was the campus wide science fair at Dane's elementary school. I went as photographer and judge's room personal. Ed spent the morning in the role of science fair judge. I was very proud of him for giving his time to do that. And he had a good time interacting with the kids and discussing their projects. (No, he did not judge Dane's project!)

I was glad to be there to snap a couple of pics of him judging some 5th grader's projects.

You rock, Judge Limbaugh!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Wood Floors

Finally! We got the new wood floors we had been planning and talking about for a while now.

We had searched and shopped off and on, never finding the perfect floor. Then Roger Kahlbau, friend and designer extraordinaire, sent us to Pro-Source Showroom. Ed and I walked around carrying our color sample piece with fingers crossed. Just as I had given up hope, I rounded the last display and BOOM, there it was! Beautiful and rich, the African Mahogany called out to me! The search was over!

On Tuesday, Fred & Manuel from Frelco Enterprises, a "do it all" company, came over to start the job. And, no surprises here, I took pictures!!!

Goodbye old carpet!
Goodbye old padding!

Look at all the tack strips!

Gag! Look at all the dirt from under the carpet! And I hear that is normal! Our carpet was 5 yrs old. I can't imagine what would be under carpet older than that!
Concrete ready- pens out!
Ed and I both wrote something!

Padding gets rolled out!
The first 2 pieces of wood floor are laid!
Jump ahead a few hours and we are almost to the end!
Here is the hearth area.

Fred and Brian came back the next day to install the trim and transition pieces. All was completed by early afternoon.

Floor with trim!

What? No "ta-da" picture? I will put a final "completed" picture up once the furniture is all put back in the living room. That way we get the full effect!!! Yay!!!

PS. Fred and team are super nice, and did a great job. Click on their link (the company name) above if you are in the market for awesome craftsmen!

Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 Pinewood Derby Winner!

Whoo-hoo! Dane won a shiny 3rd place trophy at the Cub Scout Pack 711 Pinewood Derby on Saturday, January 8th, 2011! I couldn't help but put his winning photo right up front. He had a grin that didn't go away for a week after bringing in the win. Congratulations, Dane!

It was a tough race day with a big crowd. Before it all started, the Pack leaders got the guys together to take a group shot. Dane was excited and ready to race.

For this year's competition, Dane built "The Tank" to put some fear into the competition. His winning car is the hand-painted green and brown camouflage tank with flags and stars, shown here in the middle.
Don't be fooled by its hefty size when sitting next to the other race cars. While he may have sacrificed a little aerodynamic performance to build an impressive monster, we spent a lot of time polishing the axles, aligning the wheels, and getting the weight just right to make up for it. This baby was meant to dominate the track. He won this heat without breaking a sweat.

Here's his car in a nail-biting heat a few minutes later. Dane's in the middle lane and it didn't look good for him as the cars headed into the stretch. Too quickly for the camera to catch, "The Tank" slipped to the front right at the crossing line to eke out a win.

The first set of races were between the boys within a den (grade level). Each boy in Dane's Wolf Den (the 2nd graders) competed at least three times, once in each lane to eliminate any bias in the track lanes. He won all three of his races, but we didn't know whether he'd won the den level competition or not because he didn't race the same boys each time. We had to wait for results while the other dens raced that morning.

Soon enough, though, the results were announced. He won 2nd place in his den, having been just barely edged out of 1st place by Mason Aaron. Below, Dane is thrilled just to get a participation patch.

The three Wolf Den winners, from left to right:
Mason Aaron (1st), Dane (2nd), and Ricardo Leeper (3rd).
The den races were over. Now it was time to compete for Pack bragging rights. The top three from each den (15 total from 1st through 5th grade) were pitted against one another to see who got the big trophies. Below, Dane's car is a blur in the far left lane, barely a nose ahead of the others. The cars hadn't quite crossed the finish line ... Did he win? Did he win?
YES! Dane won his first heat in the Pack finals! A blistering scale speed of 214.8 mph!

And soon it was time for Dane's third heat in the finals. He raced head to head with his earlier den-level competitor, Mason Aaron. Look closely because these boys are not much more than a flash as they pass.

Ouch! He lost by 6 one-thousandths of a second!

And the final results are in:
The winning times are the sum of the best two heats. Dane's average time was of 2.3010 seconds with a scale speed of 214.8 mph! A little post-racing analysis suggests that Mason Aaron's car was just a litttttle bit closer to the maximum 5-ounce weight limit than Dane's car was. "The Tank" weighed in a 4.95 ounces. We had hesitated at check-in time to add any more weight because that's barely a paperclip's weight (1 g) under the limit! A lesson learned for next year might be to add just a touch more weight for that last bit of speed advantage.

Congratulations, Dane! He was grinning from ear to ear as he accepted his 3rd place trophy for fastest car in the Pack. Handing over the award is Cubmaster Jeff Stivers.

We proudly displayed his 3rd place trophy and car on the fireplace mantle next to his 2nd place car and trophy from last year's Pinewood Derby. We'll get 'em next year! It'll be time to add a 1st place trophy to his collection!