June 17, 2021 by Adam in Ben

We got a robot for Ben's summer learning experience.  It theoretically comes with one-on-one remote classes, but so far he's figured out how to drive it around the house with a tablet to terrorize the cats.  This morning we woke up to find this note on the dining room table.

The IKEA Effect

May 11, 2021 by Adam in Ben

I've been hanging out with Ben quite a bit with Duncan and Joanna up in Portland.  We went through The Expanse and have started on The Orville.  Apparently I'll be rewatching all the major scifi shows of the last ten years.

He has the smallest of the bedrooms and has always had challenges with storage.  Joanna got him a wardrobe from IKEA, which of course required assembly.  With a little impatience on his part, the living room was turned into an assembly floor.  I provided the muscle, tool organization, and occasional pointers, but otherwise he put it together himself.  I had to explain The IKEA effect, which I suspect drove him onward.  He finally finished it, in an odd corner of the room that doesn't quite fit, but it's majestic anyway.


April 14, 2021 by Adam in Ben

Ben turned fourteen today.  We were trying to figure out what he could do today that he couldn't do yesterday, and apparently it's the minimum age to work in Oregon.  I'll see if the coal mine is hiring.

He's had a lot of changes lately, from surgery a couple weeks ago to the start of hybrid school.  Plus it's just been the two of us and our cat Leia for most of the week.  He's been doing remarkably well, healing nicely, catching up with homework, and really enjoying his two days of in-person education.  He's been watching a lot of science videos and chatting with friends online.  We'll wind down our evenings with The Expanse or some of the news/comedy YouTube shows.

Today will probably be pretty low-key.  I was going to pick up some goodies at Sweet Life and we'll eat sushi in front of the television for dinner.  The weekend will have most of excitement, from family birthdays to an escape room with his cousin Francis and a longtime friend from school.

Mad Science

September 03, 2020 by Adam in Ben

Ben's really been into science lately. He had a great time mixing oil and lye to make soap. Today he's working on making a model rocket. Fortunately he picked up a lab coat work his own money, which he's been earning doing chores around the house.

Ben's Birthday

April 15, 2020 by Adam in Ben

With Ben's birthday yesterday, we have reached peak teenagers and begun the downhill 15 year-long slide of the number of teenagers we'll have in the house.  Six more years to go.

Ben had a good time yesterday - I picked up Emma and the two of them played with his new manual typewriter, whacking on the keys and composing funny business memos.

Dinner was sushi takeout followed by a vast amount of presents and a hearty cake.  It was a fine celebration.

Taming of the Shrew

December 18, 2019 by Adam in Ben

We just got back from Taming of the Shrew, put on at Roosevelt for our entertainment.  While it wasn't as polished as A Midsummer Night's Dream, it was still pretty entertaining.  Ben had a good time and was pretty amusing waving a rubber chicken around (swords weren't allowed).  It was the slapstick comedy version of the play, so it ended with a pie in the face.

First Day of School

September 05, 2019 by Adam in Ben

Ben started their first day of school today.  There was some last minute switching around as they wanted to take a science class first period.  They were also going to walk with a friend to school, but she had to go do announcements early and Ben wasn't quite motivated enough to leap out of bed today.  It's a slightly reduced schedule, which hopefully works out okay.  I think Ben is both nervous and excited - last night was a little rough, but they seemed better this morning.

Ode to Leia

August 08, 2019 by Adam in Ben

Ben learned to play a few chords on the ukulele while up in Portland.  A few days ago they wrote a little song to our cat, which they were very proud of.


June 11, 2019 by Adam in Ben

Ben's been practicing for their role as Puck in Midsummer Night's Dream for the last few months.  I went along to the play, with relatively low expectations for a sixth grade play.  It was actually pretty amazing.  Sure, some kids needed to have lines fed to them, but they really got into it after awhile and the sets and costumes were great.  I think Ben was pretty nervous getting up there, but it turned out really well and I think they want to try out for the local group of Star Trek theater performances.


April 16, 2019 by Adam in Ben

Ben turned twelve. They had a bunch of friends over for a Star Trek themed sleepover. It was a mix of watching the show, playing pretend, and playing board games. I brought croissants down in the morning and they seemed well behaved.

They had a good selection of crafty and dressy presents. I'm glad they liked the uv resin I got them - they were making jewelry all Sunday.

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