Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pinewood Derby Time!

We've been heavily into Pinewood Derby all afternoon, but have fruits that show our success. Behold:

For those curious about construction, it's a basic BSA Pinewood Derby kit with a cockpit forged of Lego bricks. Well, the two we hot-glued to the car technically aren't Lego brand, so it was easier to sacrifice them to the glue. The whole thing weighs just under 4.4 ounces, which is a bit light for a derby car, but I think it'll do. I'll graphite up the axles before the races and Liam ought to do pretty well.

Since we decided to include Legos in the construction, Liam is now very excited to build a diorama-style pit stop for the car, complete with other Lego men, spare tires, and the like. Maybe tonight. I'm just relieved at this point that the car is ready to go well before the derby, which is coming up at the end of the month.

I helped Liam with the cutting and sanding, but he did everything else, notably the paint job. We had a little difficulty getting the wheels set right, but all seems well now. I'd sure like to find a practice track to take it down a few times before the race, however. Liam's the kind of kid who'll want to win, so I'd like to think we've built a car that'll help him do so. He doesn't have to come in first place, but it would be good if he weren't eliminated immediately.

This is Liam's first derby -- we did to the Raingutter Regatta about a year ago, and he had fun doing that. I vividly recall my participation in the raingutter regatta as a Cub Scout. I came in second place, and won a medal I was so proud of I tried unsuccessfully to transfer it to my Boy Scout uniform when I moved on. Then, of course, being a kid, I promptly lost the thing.

My Pinewood Derby memories aren't that pleasing. I remember racing with a car Albert helped me build, and watching it roll pokily down the track, well behind the others. Being a wimpy kid, I burst into tears and ran off. Even taping a handful of quarters to the front of the car didn't do much justice to it. I have a later memory of being at a scout leader's house melting lead to pour into a hollow created in a car to make it heavier, but for some reason I have no further memories of that Derby.

I wasn't much of a Cub Scout, as you can tell. Liam seems more enthusiastic about it, and part of that, I believe, is because we've helped him keep the records of what he's done so he can actually progress and get his rank advancements. I don't recall that kind of support from leaders when I was a kid, though I do remember doing a lot of the requirements that I've been helping Liam with over the years. I think Mom and Dad just figured we'd do the requirements in Scouts, and I never volunteered to do them at home, so that's what happened there.

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