Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekend in Review

It was a wildly crazy couple of days, so much so that we actually didn't even turn on the TV for two days!  In our house, I'm sad to say, that's pretty noteworthy.  All right, I guess I should mention that "wildly crazy" may not be quite as wild or crazy as others might think.  So what have we been up to?

Thursday was Melody's big field trip with her classmates to Mount Vernon, George and Martha Washington's home in Virginia.  After picking Melody up from school, she couldn't stop talking about all of the things she saw.  She said it was really beautiful, especially the view from the house.  She really enjoyed the trip.  One statistic that adds some perspective, and something she and I talked about, was the fact that George Washington was in his 40s when Ludwig van Beethoven was born, meaning that many classics of music history were written during the early days of the United States.


Friday, following work and school, Melody and I decided to go to the Bengie's Drive-in.  We are reaching the end of the season, with the much cooler weather, though the Bengies wants you to know that their season goes from early Spring well into late Fall.  The big movie of the night was BIG HERO SIX, the latest Disney computer-animated movie.  I know about Big Hero Six from their Marvel comic book series back in the 90s, which I bought new.  This movie is really nothing like the comic book, but that's not a bad thing.  The movie was very enjoyable, and Melody had a great time.  The movie runs the gamut of hilarity to heartbreak, and we laughed at the understated vocal patterns of the robot Baymax, who steals the movie.  Baymax is a "health assistant" robot, and "he" only wants to help everyone he comes across.  He's a huge marshmallow/snowman shaped robot made out of vinyl balloons, and he squeaks across the screen as he walks and moves and finds himself forced into tight spaces that the main character, Hiro, leads him into.

The gist of the story, not to give too much away (**SPOILER ALERT**), is that Hiro, a young robotics prodigy who finished school at the age of 13, finds himself bored to the point that he does things that would get him in trouble.  His older brother, who attends a special science college, talks Hiro into joining him at the school, where he meets his brother's friends and all of the cool things that they get to work on.  Hiro decides he wants to join them.  His brother, who has already created Baymax, inspires Hiro to get his life together and he comes up with a great robot invention that the head of the school thinks is pretty good, a microrobot that, when joined by thousands of other microrobots, can do just about anything.  However, the microrobots are stolen and Hiro's brother is killed in an explosion.  The rest of the movie is about Hiro's attempts to find out how his brother was killed, and he's joined by the gang from the school who don super-hero costumes using their inventions, along with Baymax in a suit of armor, to figure it out. (**END SPOILER ALERT**)

The movie is a lot of fun, the animation is great, the characters are nicely developed, and Baymax is going to be a big star.  The kids are going to love it.  And you might like it, too.


After getting home very late from the drive-in, we were up really early to go into downtown DC for the American Heart Association-sponsored DC Heartwalk!  The DC Heartwalk was my opportunity to assist in the effort to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke by raising money through fundraising and then participating in the 3-mile walk around the National Mall.  There were over 8000 people participating in the walk, and they were full of energy.  It was kids- and dog-friendly, and both were there in abundance.

This is the second walk I've participated in, the first with the AHA.  Previously, I did the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer about 7 years ago, and is detailed HERE.  This walk was a heck of lot easier.  The Breast Cancer walk was a 39.3 mile walk over two days, and it about killed me.  I had decided that I didn't need to do any training in advance of the walk, and my body was in no way ready for that kind of workout.  After the first day, I literally couldn't move my legs anymore.  I don't think my body had ever been that exhausted before or since.  The walk yesterday was vastly different.  Three miles isn't a lot, and while my body is a heck of a lot less fit than it was even seven years ago, I at least was able to still walk after it was over.

And it's for a great cause.  My wife died from a heart attack resulting from complications from mitral valve prolapse and an enlarged heart.  Personally, I have high blood pressure and hypertension, as well as type 2 diabetes.  This is a cause I want to support.  I'm so thankful for all who supported me through donations and prayers.  It isn't too late to donate, and if you feel like supporting the American Heart Association, I would be honored if you would.  You may use the link HERE.  Thank you!


After the walk, we met my parents in College Park for lunch at the original Ledo Restaurant.  It was nice to visit with them.  My parents are aging so gracefully, and it's hard to believe that they're both in their late 60s.  We had a good time talking about the past week, and our upcoming plans for the Holidays.  Upon leaving, we walked past a meter-maid on the sidewalk just outside of the parking garage they parked in, Dad told me he wasn't sure how the meters in the parking garage worked, and he actually didn't pay the meter after parking, which is what he should've done.  I told him he likely got a ticket.  College Park is ruthless with parking enforcement.  To our surprise, there was no ticket!  I couldn't believe it, and we're now convinced that there must've been time on the meter for their space when they parked and they didn't know it.  Anyway, it was a nice gift.

Melody and I drove home, and we had just enough time to clean up, grab a couple of showers, and then head right back out to church.  Pastor Mark, the senior pastor of Grace Community Church, presented a message on aging, which I thought was ironic given my thoughts about my parents earlier.  It was a great message, and if you're interested in hearing it, please check out the Grace website at later this week to see it there.

After church, we stopped to get a few groceries, then my daughter asked if we could stop and get some Munchkin donut holes at Dunkin' Donuts.  She specifically wanted chocolate ones.  So we stopped at three different Dunkin' Donuts before we found some.  The first had no chocolate ones, the second was closed (at 7:30 p.m. on a Saturday???), and the third barely had any.  We left with 10 in a cup for $1.99.  At least we satisfied her craving.

We finally arrived home at 8 and we had a late light dinner.  We watched a little TV for the first time in several days.  I began writing a blog post and I fell asleep two paragraphs in.  And that's why there was no post last night.  Sorry.

Anyway, the time change has had a dramatic impact on me, as I noted a few days ago.  Early to bed and early to rise, as they say.

Enjoy your Sunday!


  1. I keep wanting to take my kids to Bengie's but I'm so intimidated by the rules. There are so many that I'm sure we will break them by not understanding where to turn or where to park etc etc. I am so intimidated by their many rules!

    1. Yeah, I get it. The rules are intimidating, but after reading through them, think about how many you might actually break, even if by accident. There are very few if looked at them that way. We broke a rule one time, when Melody attempted to take a picture with her phone on the entrance road, and one of the employees asked her to put the phone away. Melody was embarrassed, but there were no ramifications because she did what they asked. We've been going for almost five years now and we always have a great time (except when it rains!). Definitely go!