Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Robot Constuction Project

This is my son's and my first robot construction project.  The first part of the project is the Brain Control Module.  The module began life as a 56k Creative Labs PCI internal modem.  As you can see, we have adapted the unit by removing the metal backing and jamming a cleverly-improvised antenna under a microchip.

As you know, a Brain Control Module doesn't come from the shop with a physical control unit, so we obviously had to install one of our own.  That's a fifteen-year-old PC joystick that has had its connector wires stripped and attached to the twisted pair copper wires from the similarly-stripped unwanted telephone connector.  Best of all, we can just snap the end of the cable right into the Brain Control Module.  (BCM)

The antenna on the BCM is specially tuned, because it came from the same box of paper clips, to transmit to the antennas on the remotely-controlled robot unit.  The robot itself is made up of one Jimmy Neutron toy, with two straightened paper clips as antennas and the lens from a broken digital camera as an eye.  You can see the lens is zip-tied to Jimmy's backwards head.

Altogether, I would say the project was a success, although the robot didn't actually do anything.  The green star is not connected to this research project in any way, except that it was another candidate for disassembly.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

But....Jesus Loves Me

Tonight I was enjoying the calmness in the house when I hear Bella yell you threw my gold necklace. Fear floods through my body - Mom Intuition can picture them climbing a chair to reach the jewelry box in her room - carefully removing the Cross Christening gift from her jewelry box and flinging it across the room into the abyss of stuffed animals and ponies.

I flew up the steps and went into a frantic search for the necklace that my Grandmother gave Bella. She must have been watching from above and chuckling to herself as I turned into crazy Mom. Thankfully my calm husband found it on the staircase. I put the necklace around my neck after he carefully removed the knots from the delicate chain so I could put it safely away in my jewelry box.

Bella saw me in the kitchen and said "I want to wear my necklace" and I said "You can wear it to school on Friday" and she looks at me with those big eyes noticing the gold Cross around my neck and states proudly "But Mommy Jesus loves me." No matter how cute that was I am still not putting this necklace back in her little unsupervised Jesus loving hands!

Hottest Christmas Toy

I am so excited - I scored 2 Zhu Zhu pets today, what has my life come to that this is the highlight of my week! The site below is so awesome. You just type in the hard to find item and if you set the sound it will roar like a lion. The items sell out in 1 minute or less after the roar so make sure you are logged into Walmart, Target and Toys-R-Us ahead of time. If you take time to enter in credit card information and all that you will loose out because you have to hit complete order or they may sell out while you are in the process of buying.

Zh Zhu Pets

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fall Festival

We went to a Fall Festival at a local garden center and the kids including Daddy had a blast.


Grandma had a visitor and the kids brought it over to see Mommy. I like this one a little more than the snake. The kids tried to feed it all sorts of things with no luck.

You've Come A Long Way - Baby

We went and saw the 3-D movie - Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It's been forever since I have worn 3-D glasses and boy have they come a long way. We all looked like Clark Kent.

Snakes and Frogs.....Oh My!

We are Den Leaders for G's Cub Scout troop. I am learning all sorts of weird guy rituals and I even touched a really big snake. Now that's called taking one for the team. I didn't want to nor did I like it, but I don't want my kids to be scared of things just because I am, but really they should be (:While the Scouts were running around like crazy boys, Bella posed in front of the world's largest cow.

Going UP!

We are coaching G's Upwards Soccer team this year and hence one more reason why I haven't been around much. It's been a lot of fun and I have even started learning the rules of the game as Assistant Coach. The best part of the whole thing is the personality of the kids. You never know what they are going to say. Last week one of the girls said to me..."You smell like something." and I said "like perfume?" and she said "Nooooooo HOT DOGS!" Huh? I don't even really eat hot dogs hmmmmm.
Bella is DYING to play, but for now she is somewhat content to goof off on the sidelines.
Coach takes his job very seriously. In fact the kids love playing kick the coach where Coach has to make animal sounds whenever they can hit him with their ball. The popular sound is "Alien" - not sure when that became an animal sound, but the kids love it.
Our main objective aside from having fun is just trying to get them all to run in the same general direction. They are awesome though!