Mount Mitchell Day One


NOTE: There are a lot of pictures in this post and if you click on them they will get BIG so you can see everything!

Dad Forgets Everything

Recently, I went camping at Mount Mitchell State Park with my dad.  We decided to go on the scenic Blue Ridge parkway, which has basically no exits on it.  Just before we got on, we realized that Dad forgot EVERYTHING!  He bought chocolate bars for s'mores that he left at home, and also the tarp to shield our things from rain.  He also forgot the mat for wiping our feet off before we enter our tent.  Fortunately, he did not forget ME!

We Find Batman’s Lair

We were driving along and then we saw this sign:

I really think that Batman could do a better job of concealing his bat cave than that.  How on earth do people not notice this?  All it needs now is a giant bat-symbol, special features, and a secret entrance!  We could not stop and visit Batman because you need to schedule a visit to the Bat Cave.  Seriously!                               

The GPS Tries to Stick Us in a Weird Destination

We went to purchase the forgotten supplies, but after we finished shopping, Dad forgot how to get back to the parkway.  He had me reading the directions to him off the GPS on his phone and he complained that I was taking us to Southern Mongolia.  We then resorted to On-star route guidance.  This is just about what happened:

Dad: route guidance.

On-star: Where is your destination?

Dad: Mount Mitchell state park

On-star: I didn’t get that, but it sounded like you said “Food Lion Skate Park” is that right?

That was when we gave up on that.  Dad took his phone back and read the directions himself to get us back to the parkway.

Dad Freezes His Butt Off

Once we were back on the parkway, the temperature slowly changed from “nice and warm” to “polar bear climate”.  We got out on every overlook and took pictures.  There were lots of tunnels and scenic views.
Who the heck is Tony???

Who are Holly and Scott?  They are vandals!!!

Getting Higher -- Elevation 3483 Feet!  Goodbye, Buffalo!

Believe me, it is COLD up here!!!

 I become the Green Lantern

We hiked up to our campsite on Mount Mitchell.  All that I brought up was a green lantern, saying that I was the Green Lantern, a superhero whose powers come from a magical alien lantern.
Beware My Power, Green Lantern's Light!

Unfortunately, the lantern did not imbue me with superpowers.

I find out that there are more bears than dad says

Dad told me that there would be few or no bears at all. Then we saw this sign at the ranger station:

And then, at the campsite, we see this:

It comes complete with a chain latch and other things!

That is an official, state-of-the-art, absolutely, positively Bear-Proof food storage container.  I still don’t get how they got these up here so fast, since the ranger said that the problem started “recently”.

I get freaked out

I decided to look for animals while dad set up the tent.  I hadn’t gone very far when I saw a furry red animal zip around the corner.  I started going after it, but then I heard a very loud growling and ran toward dad yelling that I saw a fox, but it was eaten by a bear! Then I tripped on a root and fell down. I picked myself up and noticed that a nearby airplane was making a growling noise.

I find a big rock and share it with a snake

I wonder how this rock got here?
Right next to our campsite was a rock.  I climbed up on it and sat there.
What I didn’t know was that a snake was underneath the rock.  When I found him, I called him Stewart and left him alone.

Meet my new friend Stewart!

I was careful to stay away from Stewart the snake, so we could both stay happy.

We hike over the Misty Mountains cold...

We hiked a long way to the summit, taking pictures of the cool bits and watching out for critters.  We used ski poles for hiking poles.

Welcome to the Fire Swamp!

Trust me, you wouldn't understand

Here I'm mad that Dad got ahead of me

Pollution has killed all these trees :-(

Polluters, face the wrath of my pointy ski pole!!

This is me, on top of the world!  Tomb is behind me!

That is me, on top of most of the world.  The structure behind me is the tomb of Elisha Mitchell, the man who discovered the mountain and died in the exploration of it.  He slipped while measuring a waterfall on the mountain’s height and plummeted to his death.  His body was found by a search party at the base of the waterfall and was moved and buried on the summit.  Behind the tomb is the observation tower.  On the floor of the tower is a map of NC showing north, south, east, west, and a bronze label, showing our position.
Dad was thinking that I was trying to kill him, or push him off the mountain or something, to get my inheritance early or something.  He is paranoid.

The blanket hideout

When we got back to the campsite, it was freezing!  Dad started a fire, and I sat near it with everything warm over me.
 The thing next to me is ROOT BEER.  Root beer is nothing like beer at all, and is non-alcoholic.  After we got tired, we put out the fire, went to the tent, and slept.

Thus concludes day one

My R3VIEW of EV3


Greetings from the land of no return, also known as Winter Break (tremble with fear, for this despicable creature has felled many a mighty warrior indeed!)  Anyway, I have a new Lego structure built, which means that you lucky viewers get to know all about its awesomeness.  The set in question is my humanoid friend in red, black and white: EV3RSTORM!

I am actually reviewing the whole MINDSTORMS EV3 set, but the focus is on EV3RSTORM.  Unlike Alpha Rex from NXT 2.0, EV3RSTORM does NOT use all the pieces in the set!  Also, the difficulty level is at 2 bricks in red.  I know that the Mindstorms webpage says that he has two weapons, but he can only hold one at a time.  If you are right in front of the model and are testing out default program 4 with the bazooka attached, I strongly advise to change the weapon or to get out of the way fast (The missiles hurt!).  There is a gear mechanism at the back of each arm that allows each arm to adjust.  In certain programs, the touch sensor activates a function.  On the other side of the robot, there is a color sensor.  I almost blinded my dad with the laser light that it emits!  The intended function of the color sensor is to identify certain colors. 

If my brother was able to assemble and command Alpha Rex, the two robots would almost be evenly matched.  I don't understand why many of the robots have hair made from weaponry.

If I worked at LEGO, I would make a few improvements to EV3.  The download port should be moved to the front because it's difficult to access it in the current location, reaching inside the bulk of the robot.  Also, the robot should be black and green because that would look cooler, the brick's screen should be in color and there should be an obstacle sensor that lets the robot display what is around it.  I would add a helmet to the robot, and give it hex stickers.  I would call the new faction "H3X".

A Sleepover With Srinidhi


               “Are you absolutely sure you told your parents?” I asked Srinidhi for what seemed like the one billionth time.  As with the other times, his answer was yes.  “Good, because I don’t want anyone thinking that I am holding you hostage!”  I replied jokingly.  All throughout the week, we had been planning a sleepover and finally it was here!  “Remember” I told him urgently, “You are being dismissed when they call out ‘Rumpf’, not ‘Shanmuganathan.’” 

                All throughout the day, we giddily discussed the events that were to occur, and how we were to go about doing them.  This process took up most of the school day, creating the illusion of time sliding away from our abysmally futile, grasping hands, as if encased in a thick coating of oil.  The day was gone as fast as a single, glistening, and awe-inspiring bolt of lightning vanishes after causing its fiery onslaught of damage, as if afraid of what it caused.  The next thing I knew, I was seated in my dad’s car, next to Srinidhi, in the back seat.

                In the car, we made lots of jokes and laughed a lot to pass the time.  At one point, we looked out the window and saw a sleek stretch limo with Srinidhi’s sister inside.  The idea of his sister in a limo made us crack up with laughter.  A while later, my dad brought the car, now filled with laughter, to a halt in the driveway of my house.  All three passengers exited the vehicle and entered the house.

                Once inside the house, I gave Srinidhi the “tour of the facilities”, including the location of my room, where the bathroom was, etcetera.  Then I proceeded to show him a current Lego structure I was in the process of creating: a fully functioning secret ninja hideout.  The creation included a working elevator, created with a winch and shaft, holding cells, a computer, and lots and lots of traps, security measures, and precautions; all of which were created using Lego bricks and my imagination.  Srinidhi liked the way the elevator doubled as a holding cell if sent to the bottom floor.  I showed him my other sets, but none seemed to dazzle him like the ninja hideout did.  Next, we played a multiplayer videogame, requiring great amounts of teamwork to reach the next level.  We were defeating a particularly difficult boss ghost, when the echoing shout of “DINNER!” reached our ears, accompanied by the enticing smell of delicious pizza.  We decided that our characters could wait a bit and went downstairs to claim the pizza as our own.

                As we ate the pizza, I informed Srinidhi that the Mellow Mushroom pizzeria was very close to my house and had delicious pizza.  Srinidhi enjoyed the pizza and wanted to tell his parents about it.  For reasons unknown to me, Srinidhi took an interest in the website URL on the side of the box.  After dinner, we raced upstairs to get ready for bed.  When I entered my room, I remembered that my Lego Mindstorms EV3 was out of battery power, and thought that Srinidhi would probably like to command it via remote control.  I told him that we could play with it in the morning and gave it to my dad, so he could replace the batteries.  His only condition was that we go to bed immediately after he turned off the lights.

                We got ready for bed quickly, but had trouble going to sleep.  Luckily, I had an unfinished mad libs book, a dim light source and a pen.  I collected the materials, and we had a wild and crazy night, filled with funny stories and whatnot.  Eventually, we fell asleep. 

                Srinidhi woke up before me.  When I had awakened from my “mini-hibernation”, we went downstairs.  Breakfast was pancakes.  When we were done, we started watching “Doctor who” episodes.  In the middle of one, Srinidhi’s dad came and picked him up.  I sadly waved goodbye; it had been a wonderful time.

The journey of a hamburger


In the beginning, there was a cow.  And in that cow there was a hamburger.  And that hamburger is writing this journal.  This is



                After I came out of the cow, THE COW DIED.  I know, pretty tragic.  Anyway a dude unceremoniously dumped me at a restaurant’s cafĂ©.  A person ordered me on the menu.  I screamed in terror as I was picked up.

The man was unfortunately deaf. It all started in the mouth.  I was punctured by a mouth full of teeth. 
Somehow I survived the teeth and the tongue and as a ghosty food, made my way down the esofagus and into the liver.  Ow ow! I hate chemicals.  Now for the darkness that is the stomach.  I said im in the sto mach5 and I am hacking treble righting.

hello, this is the new ghost food, the dark side of the ghost food.  I have been attacked by acids in the stomach, and now look pretty awesome. I am also tiny beccause I was molecularized in the un-jammed pancreas.  I am now  in the gall bladder.  I am sliding through pretty easily.  Now I am bouncing through the small intestines which is very long to be called the small intestines.  I have finally entered the large intestines, which suprisingly is very short to be called the large intestines.  I have entered the end of the digestive system… the rectum!  I am now being pushed out of the anus.  Goodbye!  FLUSH!!!!