Monday, February 27, 2006

Only a LITTLE Off- Part I

All good stories start out once upon a time. This story should definently NOT be starting that way!! This past Friday I stayed after school to work on Gwinniper and Brutus, the two robot we were going to run at West Ottawa the next day. Theoretically, the repairs that needed to be made were minor. By now I should know that NOTHING in Science O is ever minor. Coach N. was waiting at 3 to help me make the necessary repairs. We quickly did so, and Nate left by 4. I had to finish up Brutus and do a practice run on Gwinniper, and plus I had to wait for Christie and Dan to be done with their Scrambler (named Cleopatra, much to Bri's great dismay when he found out). That wasn't happening in the foreseeable future. Chris and Dan tend to be rather...snippy to each other. Mostly its all in good fun. However, without the guidance of a coach, neither Brutus nor Cleopatra was getting much in the way of construction.

Throughout the course of the night, Dan, Chris and I bonded in a way that only late nights at school can bond a group of people. Dan managed to burn Christie in the neck with a drill, which apparently was just retaliation for a hot glue burn she'd given him earlier. I was trying to study the HUGE stack of stars info Coach P. had given me at the end of the day for my astronomy event the next day, as well. Cleopatra wasn't working out quite as planned. She just wasn't firing right, and Dan was getting a LITTLE irritated. I finally got around to taking Gwinniper out of her box, only to take another half hour or so to figure out which controller was the right one. However, once I located it, I realized that Gwinniper was not going anywhere. I called Coach N. in a panic. After figuring out that something really was wrong, he said that he'd be there in a few minutes.

True to his word, he arrived around 7. He quickly discovered the problem with Gwinniper, that her box that Amos had built was too heavy. He put me to work tearing the metal box off and building a new wood one. He also helped Dan and Christie with Cleopatra, giving them something to do as well. In the 45 or so minutes he was there, we accomplished a ton. He had to leave, however, and from that minute on, things went downhill. Mr Blok left around 1/4 to 9, and Mr VanderWaal shortly thereafter. This left Dan, Chris and I alone in the school. Being the honest and upright kids we are, we didn't destroy a single thing:-) We listened to a CD or two, but that was about it.

We were all pretty crabby and stressed out. We'd never actually gotten around to eating supper, either. By around 9, we all figured out that it was NOT working!! I'd found Brutus to have another issue, and Gwinniper kept falling over backwards. The Scramblers were having issues far worse than the robots. In despair, I called Coach N. yet again around 9:30. After a bit of confusion, he arrived at school to bail us out yet AGAIN. Let me impress upon you that Nate is the COACH of Robot. I'm on the event, and so are a couple other people, none of whom were there. Nate also is NOT the coach of Scrambler, yet as soon as he helped me re-fix Gwinniper he immediately asked Dan what was wrong and how he could help. Needless to say Coach N. was quite high on our list of people we really appreciated that night!!

Nate managed to help us all put everything relatively right. Neither scrambler was working quite as it should, but they were passable. This was the case for both the robots, as well. He told us all to go home and get a good nights sleep. He left at around 10:20, and we left school at 10:40. SEVEN AND A HALF HOURS working on those devices...and a whole bunch of less than savory words, yelling, spazzing out, burning, singing, laughing, and bonding had taken place in that time.

Chris and I stopped at Forest Hills to get ourselves some food....Christie said something about being famished and hungry enough to eat a horse. By the time we got home and ate and tried to wind down a bit, it was after midnight. We climbed into bed and studied and talked on and off until 2 a.m., when Chris fell asleep. All the stress and everything must have really gotten to me, though, because I never actually went to sleep. A little before 5 I gave up trying to sleep, figuring that an hour of sleep would be worse than none at all. I studied my circuits stuff for an hour before getting up and showering at 6. After I got out and got dressed, I woke the near comatose Christie from her sound sleep and we had breakfast and finished getting ready.

We had to be at school by 7:15 to get our ride out to West Ottawa. I had both robots as well as the scrambler launcher in the back of my van, all of which had to get to the competition. The plan had been to ride with Mr. Kamp. Our plan went awry when we realized there was no way any of it was fitting in his van. I agreed to driving, making it easier on all of us. I would follow Mr. Kamp and all would be fine. Christie, Dan, and Dominic all piled into my van. We would be arriving at West Ottawa by 8:30 according to the present timetable. Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men...

Guesses on what happened next? Those of you who know can NOT tell!!


Blogger Petunia McGillicuddy said...

you guys made robots?

1:16 AM, February 28, 2006  
Blogger eChuckler said...

Hhhmmm... Erika's driving, and she needs to be at a place at a specific time. Let me guess... You get lost and you're quite late? ;)

3:38 PM, February 28, 2006  

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