Nintendo DS

Monday, December 27, 2004 at 2:22 PM | Filed under ,

Kevin's upset that he wouldn't be able to play Tetris DX, a Game Boy Color game, on the Nintendo DS. Myself, I'm disappointed that I can't play Pokémon Puzzle Challenge on it. You can't play multiplayer Game Boy Advance games, either.

But what's cool is that it has TWO SCREENS! It's has dual screens! That's what the DS stands for. Dual Screen. You can touch the bottom screen. Use a stylus. It's a touch screen! You can draw pictures or whatever.

It even comes with a built-in program called PictoChat. That's where people can send pictures to each other as instant messages. Unfortunately, nobody near me has a Nintendo DS, so I can't play PictoChat with anybody. It's boring playing tic-tac-toe by myself. Fortunately, I know some guy on the bus who has a Nintendo DS. I'll play on the bus.

Gingerbread Houses

Friday, December 24, 2004 at 12:07 AM | Filed under ,

We’re at my aunt’s house to celebrate Christmas! My sister, a handful of cousins, a boyfriend of one, and I made gingerbread houses out of graham crackers. There were only five platforms to work on, so Shelly and I worked together. We had a bunch of materials to work with, including two boxes of graham crackers, homemade frosting, and a whole bunch of sprinkles and candies. I found that the toothpicks worked even better than the knife for cutting the graham crackers. I'm posting a bunch of pictures below here. Sorry about the lighting and quality—Aunt Carla wasn't using her flash, despite our constant reminders. Or maybe her camera was broken.

Here's Stephanie’s. She decided to go with a traditional gingerbread house. It seemed to make her a long time to make the basic shape of the house. I guess it kept falling apart. I bet the roof will cave in—it's already starting to in this picture. I like what she did with the roof. She and Michelle made a "glaze" with water, frosting, and sprinkles. Shelly and I actually piloted the idea of mixing frosting with sprinkles to get a colored frosting mix.

Michelle decided to go with the winter theme a step more and make a ski jump. It’s kinda hard to see in the picture. She used several small rectangles to make the curved surface of the ski slope. She covered the platform with marshmallows for that lovely bumpy snow look.

I love the car. I've never seen a gingerbread car. It looks great. It looks like somebody put a gum wrapper on the top of the car—I think that's supposed to be skis. Oh, the other one's still on the ski jump. See at the foot of the ski jump the pair of red candies? Those are the feet of a marshmallow person who went headfirst into the snow. Aww, pity.

Here's Russell’s. He also went with a normal house, but he was a bit more ambitious with a large sloped roof. The roof was sliding off, so he had to put marshmallow column to hold it up. He lined the edges of the roof with peanut butter-flavored chocolate chips. He did the same thing that Stephanie did with the colored sprinkles on the roof. It looks nice like that that way. I like how part of the roof is cut away. I don't know what purpose that serves, but it looks neat.

Kevin says his gingerbread house is the best. I like it very much. He built it upside-down. It looks like there's a tree, and it's upside down too. If you haven't noticed, candy is everywhere! Candy on the top, candy littered on the ground, and look! Gold coins! This is why I like Kevin's gingerbread house so much. There's a chocolate bar stuck up in the top.

Shelly and I worked together, and still remembering our fun trip through Dallas, Texas, we decided it would be interesting to make a gingerbread airport. We started with the hangar, then we drew the runway. Then we were going to build a hospital landing pad for helicopters. Shelly drew a cross with the frosting, and I said, "Isn't it supposed to be an H in a circle?" and she said, "Oh well, now it's a Christian Airport," and Russell said, "It's Air Jesus!"

The airplane is made of marshmallows held together with toothpicks, a Hershey Kiss for the nose of the plane, and some graham crackers for the wings and tail. I suggested we make a red stripe across the plane, so we made some red frosting with red sprinkles, but Shelly missed and made a big fat smudge across the side of the plane, so we just decided to paint the entire plane. Then Shelly found some turkey things and added them to the airport. The one on the runway looks like it's dead, and we said it got run over by an airplane.

Overall, it was a lot of fun, I guess. I anticipate that over time, the roof on Stephanie's gingerbread house will collapse and fall in, Russell's roof will slide off, and other horrible things will happen with the other three gingerbread houses. Maybe their dog, Chica Sue, will try to eat them. Oh no, that would be horrible!

Secret Presents

Monday, December 20, 2004 at 12:41 AM | Filed under ,

Aunt Karen arrives at Sea-Tac Airport on Wednesday afternoon. I want to go to the airport (exciting places, airports!) to pick her up, but I think Uncle Dick, who works really close to the airport, is going to pick her up instead. Then we're going to drive to Bellingham.

So today, at the blood center, I noticed a woman was bent over, resting with her head in her hand. I asked her if she was all right, she said not really, so I had to wave over the technicians. I've been working there since August, and this was the first time I had to get the technicians' attention for a person with "ill effects". They walked over with a wheelchair, and wheeled her back over to the beds so she could rest for another half hour. Whoa.

After that, Dad drove us over to the very nearby brand new Jo-Ann Fabric store because we had to wait for Mom and Stephanie to finish shopping there. While we were waiting, I bought a present for Stephanie. I can't post it on here because she's subscribed to this weblog. Oh well, now nobody can know. I noticed, at Jo-Ann Fabric, that Mom was holding a thing that looked like a Ninja Turtle! I asked, what's that, and she defensively hid it from my view. "Your Christmas present!" Oh, I can't look at that.

She must think I'm obsessed with the Ninja Turtles. Before we left for Kansas, she let me open a Christmas present that turned out to be a Ninja Turtles coloring book. She said it was a gag present, but it helped me pass a lot of time on the airplane.

Winter Break!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2004 at 8:04 PM | Filed under , ,

Yesterday, in Calculus, Whitney brought Cranium and Scattergories. I don't think she brought them with the intention of playing in Calculus, but Mr. Worster was interested, and devoted the entire day to playing these board games. At first, he had us vote on which game to play. I voted for Scattergories, but the class was so divided that we all just decided to have both games play at once. So I played Scattergories with Alex, Aaron, and some other girl sorry I don't remember your name. Alex was really good. Aaron had never played, and I wasn't doing too badly. We played three games. I had 15 points, Aaron had 16, and Alex had 19. The girl had 10. Then we decided to play another three games, and Audrey joined us. She was awesome; she filled in nearly every blank, and even though we ran out of time and didn't get to total our scores for the last three games, I'm sure she won. I think the best answer of the day was "Something You're Afraid Of" starting with L, and Alex said "Lynching".

Today, we went to Petsmart like every year and got our pictures taken with the Santa. Again, this year, Santa was an old lady. Weird. Well, here's a picture.

We had a heck of a time getting the kitties to look at the camera.

Math Badges

Thursday, December 16, 2004 at 7:44 PM | Filed under , ,

Last Friday, I missed a test in Calculus test because I went to Kansas (remember?) so Mr. Worster was nice about it and let me make it up on Monday. And guess what. I got 100% on it! Phew, I thought I wasn't going to do so well. Derivatives are a little tricky.

Then, on Tuesday, I took a test in History about the Civil War. Blech... history. I'm not good at history. Then, we took our final early in Walking class. Phew... I was tired after that. We walked down the back road to the Meadowdale Beach, then walked up the Meadowdale Beach Trail, and back to school. It was about 4.5 miles, and when it wasn't uphill, it was steep downhill with slippery leaves.

Tuesday night, I made two dozen no-bake cookies for Christmas presents for my friends. Steffi helped me wrap them, and I gave them to some of the friends I saw yesterday and earlier today. I also made some math-themed badges for Mr. Worster. He really seemed to like them. He wore three of them during class. Audrey liked them, and asked where he got them. He said, "Well, um, Brandon gave them to me!" I'll post some of the images for the badges I made:


The first one simplifies to i/8 ("I overate"). You need to know trigonometry to find the fourth one funny.

Kansas Travel Log

Sunday, December 12, 2004 at 5:44 PM

So Stephanie, Mom, Shelly, Carla, Dick, and I went to KANSAS this weekend to go to my grandpa's funeral. I kept a log as I went, and I will share it with you.

Before we could go to our gate, we had to go through airport security. It was much more extensively done than before. For example, they dug through our bags and had us stand with our arms out as they used a handheld metal detector to search us for guns, land mines, etc. Then we boarded our plane for Dallas, Texas for our layover. Then to Kansas. Actually, Missouri.

12-09-2004 About 1:50 PM CST
American Airlines Flight 1694 (Dallas/Ft. Worth to Kansas City)

We safely arrived in Dallas, Texas at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport for our layover. The first thing Shelly and I noticed was that the land was very flat. We also noticed a lot of cowboy hats in the terminal, and several boot polishing stations. I can't eat on an airplane, so this was the perfect place to get a burger. Fortunately, the terminal had two McDonald's. I wasn't too hungry, and I didn't really want to fill up and get full (in case I lost my lunch on the plane), so I ordered a cheeseburger and a Sprite. When I sat down to eat my burger, I realized that they had forgotten to put in the patty. I returned to the McDonald's and requested another burger. This one was fine. This one was good. It was a terrific burger. I felt satisfied and fulfilled.

12-09-2004 10:41 PM CST
Extended StayAmerica Hotel Room 210

I was surprised to see Aunt Karen pick us up at the gate at the airport in Missouri! Uncle Henry was with her too. We got our luggage. Then we went to Alamo Car Rental to get our rental minivan. We were walking around the lot, looking for the right one. I started to open the door of one particular dark blue one, but it wouldn't open. Only when I stopped pulling did the door open ... AUTOMATICALLY! What a cool van! We all knew we were getting this awesome van with the door that opens for you.

Then we drove to our hotel. It's pretty nice for a "two-star" hotel. It's neat in the fact that the room with the beds are separated from the living room and kitchen. Two different rooms. Three including the bathroom. We had a bit of trouble opening the doors with the keycards, but I figured it out: you have to push down on the door handle hard. Mom, Steffi, my cousin Shelly, and I have one room, and Uncle Dick and Aunt Carla have the other room.

Then we went to visit Mary, Grandpa's wife. We sat talking for a while, and admiring a ceramic light-up Christmas tree Karen made. Then I helped Shelly edit some letters.

Then we went to Sonic Burger! Oh, finally! All the dumb TV channels air commercials, but there aren't any in Washington! We ordered our food (me: bacon cheeseburger, coney (hot dog), fries, and Sprite), but Shelly had to use the restroom. They wouldn't let her use the restrooms inside for security reasons. So we said hold on, and went to Walgreen's across the street. They used the toilets, bought pop for the fridge. Then we returned to Sonic and ate the food. YUM..we HAVE to go back.

12-10-04 11:13 PM CST
Extended StayAmerica Hotel Room 210

We went to the funeral today at the church. There were tons of people I didn't know. Shelly gave a good speech. Then everyone gathered in the dining room to talk and eat cake and remember. It was a little weird that people were hugging me, remembering me from when I was two—and I didn't remember them at all. We got to see Matt—I hadn't seen him in three years, and even then, it was only for a minute.

Then we went to Smokehouse BBQ with a few guests from the funeral and their daughter, Laura, a college freshmen. She was nice, but she was uncomfortable because she didn't know any of us. I think she liked us less when Shelly and I tried to make a siphon with the drinking straws and Stephanie's strawberry lemonade. On the way back to the hotel, Shelly and I tried to sing The 12 Days of Christmas, but couldn't remember any lines from the 6th day and on.

12-11-04 10:45 PM CST
Extended StayAmerica Hotel Room 210

Today was Grandpa's burial in the small town called Bushton. However, it's about a 5-hour drive from our hotel. So we woke up really early and ate in the breakfast room in the hotel. Then we got in the van and just drove west. We stopped at a McDonald's about halfway there at 10:40 AM to get lunch. Guess what. They were still serving breakfast. Aww, I wanted a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. So I got a Sausage Biscuit with Egg instead.

The funeral was in a small town in the middle of nowhere. It was cold and windy. I thought they were going to lower the casket into the ground, but Shelly said that would be too hard for people to watch. Then we went to Oteka's house—she's Grandpa's sister-in-law. We had lunch. While all the grown-ups talked, Shelly, Steffi and I played Go Fish and War. Then, on the way back, we stopped at Russell Stover Candies to look at chocolate. I looked at jelly beans. I got A&W Root Beer and Tutti-Frutti jelly beans, and Mom got Sizzling Cinnamon jelly beans.

After we finally got back to the city our hotel is in, we decided to have Wendy's for dinner. I had two Caesar salads, a chili, and a bacon cheeseburger. On the way back to the hotel, while listening to a Christmas CD I made, Stephanie, Shelly and I tried to sing The Twelve Days of Christmas, but couldn't sing along very well.

12-12-04 About 10:30 PM CST
American Airlines Flight 1267 (Kansas City to Dallas/Ft. Worth)

Karen went with us to the airport. We also met with my dad's father and aunt. Then I bought an airplane keychain that lights up and makes airplane noises. Going through airport security was a pain this time—MCI security isn't very well organized. We're going to transfer planes in Dallas/Ft. Worth. We won't have much time to get to the next plane—we won't have time to shop or eat. Since our tickets are last-minute, our seats on the plane to Seattle suck. Each of the six of us sit in the center seats of six different rows. I won't be sitting next to anyone I know. I'll be surrounded by strangers. I hear Kevin and Terry are going to pick us in SeaTac.

12-12-04 About 1:45 PM CST
American Airlines Flight 533 (Dallas/Ft. Worth to Seattle-Tacoma)

We were worried when we arrived at the Texas airport because it didn't look like we'd have enough time to get to our next gate to depart for SeaTac. We only had 20 minutes until boarding, and we had (as I later found out) three miles to the gate. Three miles, with all six of us, would probably take us at least 40 minutes, walking quickly. Fortunately, we could take the TrAAin (AA is for American Airlines) right to our next gate. However, while walking to the TrAAin Station, we came across the man in the trolley. It's like an extended golf cart without the canopy. The guy was glad to give us a ride. So we rode all the way to our gate on the other side of the airport. It was fun, and we still had ten minutes to spare.

Thanks to the nice ticket lady at our gate, our seating arrangements were changed to allow us to be seated closer together. We're seated in pairs, which is better than sitting alone. I ate a yummy bagged bistro meal. It inclused a turkey sandwich, a bag of baby carrots, a bag of Ruffles, and a brownie. Shelly gave me her Ruffles. I also bought Sun Chips back in Texas. Oh, and I bought a keychain that says "Don't Mess With Texas".