31 October 2010

As good as it gets!

As weekends go, this was a pretty darn good one.

Saturday the SCSon and I worked on his robot program.    He is involved in FIRST LEGO(r) league.  The short version is that the teams are given a set of missions to accomplish in 2 1/2 minutes.  The teams have 3 months to build a LEGO robot and program the robot to accomplish as many missions as possible.  The missions are intentionally "overcalled".  That is, they intentionally specify more missions than a normal team can complete in the timeframe.  This forces the team to exercise some level of triage.  Which missions have a favorable payoff/reward ratio.  Some missions are easy and pay a lot, others are hard and pay the same or less.  Unfortunately the coolest mission "bad cell destruction" falls into the later category.  It will require a lot of effort but only pays the same amount as the much easier missions. 

His teammates had decided the "Special Bone Repair" mission was too difficult and wanted to focus on the low hanging fruit.  But the SCSon said "I can do it!" and took it on.    The mission has two parts.  First the robot has to insert a "bone bridge" (it's a pretty small target to hit) and then bump the other end of the bone (it's on a pivot) to kick a ball into a goal.
(stay tuned for pictures)

We went from zero to Mission Complete in about 90 minutes.    One problem we ran into is that the robot ends up so close to the wall, it doesn't have room to turn.  The SCSon said "Hey, no problem, lets just back it all the way to base and have a second program to run around and kick the goal.  This has the advantage that, if the inserting the bone bridge fails, we can try again without penalty.

This is the kind of effort we need.   I hope I can work with the rest of the team like this.

Next we headed out to the range where we took the opportunity to shoot some October ePostal targets.  The SCSon has taken a liking to the newest 9mm in the arsenal (FM Argentine Hi Power).  Unfortunately out of the 20 shots fired for the match, 3 hit the paper and only one scored.  No matter, we submitted the target anyway.  I also shot a target with the Hi-Power, but all the bullets seemed attracted to the same hole.  Normally this is a good thing, but not when aiming at 20 separate and distinct little targets.

I'd also brought the AR-15 which the SCSon tried for the first time.  He was surprised at how little recoil it has just like mom and dad have been saying all along!  We even arrived at the range just as a cease fire was starting which means we put our targets up straight away and didn't have to wait for the next cease fire.

Heading home from the range, temps were in the mid-70's and we had the top down on the roadster.  There may be better days than this, but they are pretty rare.

Oh and Sunday's weather matched Saturday's.  I took advantage and got some air under the tires.  Cool temps, calm winds and greaser landings. 

Saturday was a really good day and Sunday made it a really good weekend!


USCitizen said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend!

David aka True Blue Sam said...

Days like that are precious!