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About raptor_dad

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    Mayor of Crazy Town

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  1. We are hopefully half way through a cross country move. DW and the kids left Minneapolis on December 4 and all our stuff including some wrapped boxed Christmas presents were supposed to arrive in Seattle by December 19 at the latest. After an ugly issue with the 1st mover involving a failure to pickup and a cash settlement, we are likely to get stuff by 1/15 from another mover...The games we've recieved are: "Before There Were Stars": Which is a fabulous creation myth story telling game,,, DS11, DS13 DW, and I all love it. We've played 3 times and its fun and flexible. "Betrayal At
  2. We're currently in the process of moving from Minneapolis to Seattle. We previously lived in Seattle during DW's residency from 2003-2008. Here in Minneapolis in an urban neighborhood we have neighbors with chickens. Likewise, in similar urban neighborhoods in Seattle in 2008 and today you see folks with chickens, Maybe not your current flock, but chickens could be in your future. DW is out in Seattle looking for a place to rent today through Saturday. She was eating lunch at "our" thai restaurant and the waitress said "Long time no see", DW said "Yeah its been a while", the waitress gave
  3. This has been a weird Summer for us. Good, bad, and otherwise. Good: DS13 earned Weather, Woodcarving, and Emergency Prep merit badges at camp and his Star rank. Even better, unlike the previous 2 years, I didn't have any tedious conversations about discipline issues with the Scoutmaster at either parents' weekend or the end of camp. DS13 was just elected a patrol leader. DS11 was at his first summer camp. He earned the First Aid merit badge and Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class ranks at camp. So he earned First Class in six months vs 2 1/2 yrs for DS13. I had expected
  4. My standards for a good fundraiser, are that it needs to raise 10-15$/hr per person and it shouldn't be a complete ripoff for supporters. So BSA popcorn is out. I think lucrative and community engagement are different goals. Our troop completely funds dues and camping trips and whatever portion of camp the scouts can cover. Our standard fundraisers are a pancake breakfast and spaghetti dinner that go 100% to the troop. They have a decent community engagement element since we have the photo boards going back to the '20s but really only engage the church and alumni. We also have wreath sal
  5. If you have a scout for whom cost is a barrier. Trail crew is only $325 for a 1 week conservation work/ 1 week trip. It used to be only OA but after the fires is now generally available. Even with transport that should be under $1000.
  6. We did a bunch of trip budgeting this Spring with the scouts. Philmont wasn't a finalist so didn't get the full work up, but we bracketed the 12 day trip cost at $1500-1800. Our council 2020 contingent, http://www.northernstar.org/news/2020-philmont-council-contingent , is $1850 for the 7 day trek. Adding in the ~$375 difference for 7vs12day treks, that would come out at $2225. $2500+ for Philmont seems insane to me. Our scouts first choice HA was the Sea Base Scuba Live Aboard. Using our Sea Base sailing trip 2 years ago and researching/updating prices, that trip with airfare, van tran
  7. Our joint Cub Scout/Scout camp out this weekend was cancelled since it was in the low 40s with 2 inches of rain and steady 20mph winds. The Scouts considered camping anyway but the miserableness combined with possible flooding on the access roads to our camp made the PLC call it off Friday. So DW (Weblos DL), DS10(newly crossed over scout), and DS12 were all warm at home. I on the other hand drove a couple of our scouts and was an adult candidate at our Order of the Arrow Ordeal weekend. Overall it was a great time but I don't think I've been that cold and wet in around 20 years. We
  8. DW's job here is marginal and she is being aggressively recruited for a academic medical job in Pittsburgh. DS12 is homeschooled and DS10 is in public school. Our family is only willing to live in the city, so for ds10 we would have to at least live in the Allerdice feeder zone. For DS12, home instruction and the Western PA ARML group is adequate for math; but not as good as UMTYMP and dual enrollment. Cheap CC dual enrollment is fine but not as good as free DE at UMN. If we could game CC to Carnegie Mellon/Pitt cross registration for 1 course per semester that would rock. Bei
  9. So out the 10-11 weeks of public school summer, DS10 and DS12 are doing: 2 weeks of 1/2-3/4 day Sailing camp on a public lake, DS10 is in optis and DS12 is moving up to 420s 1 week each at Grandmas with same age cousins. 2 weeks Scout camp with a 3 day backpacking trip together. DS12 is doing a week day camp at the more serious tactical LARP camp. DS10 is doing week of day camp with our Loppet folks doing canoeing, orienteering, and trail running. ETA: and a week of family vacation in late August
  10. DS10 earned Arrow of Light and crossed over to Scouts BSA tonight. He is so thrilled. He has a September birthday and crossed over as a PS 4th grader using the 6mos since turning ten AoL option, but he is so ready. He has 6 camp outs this year; 3 with the Cubs, 3 with the Scouts(2 without a parent). He is so ready.. He'll have 2 troop camp outs before summer camp and should do great.
  11. DS12 was an acolyte in uniform instead of the more typical robe... and as it turned out DS10 also got to acolyte as a Cub since they couldn't round up a GS. This was slightly ironic since our kids aren't in our church's troop but another same denomination church for historical reasons... but the director of acolytes is our church's Scout Master.
  12. I'm in the "where does this deer path/creek/canyon go camp". Leave No Trace doesn't say stay on the trail and don't cut switchbacks.... it says "Travel on durable surfaces". This lets you hike off trail anywhere there won't be impacts. If you live somewhere cold and even better with lots of snow, Winter is a off trail wonderland. Snow, like rock and flood plains, is the ultimate low impact durable surface. Grab your boots or snow shoes and tromp through the woods, across the lake, up the creek, through that frozen solid muddy slough and wetland.
  13. I know it, my kids know it, most english speakers in my urban neighborhood know it since we have a 5000+ bird mega-murder that over-winters here. I think most well read people will be familiar enough with it.
  14. Our troop had its September camp out last weekend. We had around 10 Scouts and another 6 Webelos present. The Scouts were working on the Railroading MB and the Webelos working that into one of the NOVA awards. So on Saturday we all got up at 6:30 for breakfast and then drove an hour down to a scenic railroad an alumni of ours works on.We toured the yard and rode on the train and the Scouts of all ages got to ride for a couple of miles in the engine. It was super cool. Timing was quirky. The train was limited to 10mph since there was a derailed rock train on that section of track. So we were tr
  15. We're GFCF here and pot lucks always suck, so regardless of what we are assigned we always take meat. Our two go to items are either pulled pork/carnitas, pork shoulder slow cooked dry, so not your first choice. Or whole chicken legs, thighs, quarters, whatevers cheap, roasted in the oven. We usually throw these in the crockpot to keep warm but for an hour or so you could serve them otherwise. We never have leftovers. We are also dairy free so various cheesy vegetarian options don't work for us. Vegan options we've liked include baked beans or lentil salads.
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